DEBTORS ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   1   Short title

   2   Abolition of imprisonment for debt with exceptions

   3   Saving of power of committal with or without hard labour for debts not exceeding $100

   4   Power under certain circumstances to arrest defendant about to quit the Island

   5   Saving for sequestration against property

   6   Saving for Bankruptcy Act

   7   Meaning of the word "prescribed"

 

THE DEBTORS ACT

[Date of Commencement: 1st January, 1872]

Cap 93.

1   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Debtors Act.

Abolition of Imprisonment for Debt

2   Abolition of imprisonment for debt with exceptions

   With the exceptions hereinafter mentioned, no person shall be arrested or imprisoned for making default in payment of a sum of money.

   There shall be excepted from the operation of this Act-

   Default in payment of a penalty, or sum in the nature of a penalty other than a penalty in respect of any contract.

   Default in payment of any sum recoverable summarily before a Justice or Justices.

   Default by a trustee, or person acting in a fiduciary capacity, and ordered to pay by a Court of equity any sum in his possession or under his control.

   Default by an attorney or solicitor in payment of costs when ordered to pay costs for misconduct as such, or in payment of a sum of money when ordered to pay the same in his character of an officer of the Court making the order.

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   Default in payment, for the benefit of creditors, of any portion of a salary or other income in respect of the payment of which any Court having jurisdiction in bankruptcy is authorised to make an order.

   Default in payment of sums in respect of the payment of which orders are in this Act authorised to be made:

   Provided first, that no person shall be imprisoned in any case excepted from the operation of this section for a longer period than one year; and, secondly, that nothing in this section shall alter the effect of any judgment or order of any Court for payment of money except as regards the arrest and imprisonment of the person making default in paying such money.

3   Saving of power of committal with or without hard labour for debts not exceeding $100

   Subject to the provisions hereinafter mentioned, any Court having civil jurisdiction may commit to prison with or without hard labour, for a term not exceeding six weeks, or until payment of the sum due, any person who makes default in payment of any debt, or instalment of any debt due from him in pursuance of any order or judgment of that or any other competent Court:

   Provided

   (1) that the jurisdiction by this section given of committing a person to prison shall, when exercised by a Resident Magistrate's Court, be exercised subject to the following restrictions, that is to say-

   (a)   by an order made by the Judge himself in open Court, and showing on its face the ground on which it is issued;

   (b)   as respects a judgment of a superior Court of law or equity only when such judgment does not exceed one hundred dollars, exclusive of costs;

   (2) that the jurisdiction given by this section shall be exercised as respects a judgment of a Resident Magistrate's Court only by a Resident Magistrate's Court;

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