SA Introduces Statutes Amendment (Civil Enforcement) Bill 2021
On 6 May 2021, the Statutes Amendment (Civil Enforcement) Bill 2021 (SA) (“the Bill”) was introduced to South Australia’s Legislative Council by Treasurer Rob Lucas. The Bill is currently still before the Council.
Purpose of the Bill
The Bill proposes amendments to the following South Australia legislation:
- Enforcement of Judgments Act 1991 (SA)
- Sheriff's Act 1978 (SA)
As stated in the Bill summary, the Bill seeks to:
About the Review
Currently, the Sheriff is the statutory officer appointed to enforce orders of the court and is responsible for the enforcement of all civil processes issued from the Supreme, District and Magistrates Courts of South Australia. The Sheriff is able to appoint Deputy Sheriffs for the purpose of the day-to-day management of civil enforcement. Deputy Sheriffs are also authorised to appoint Sheriff’s officers to enforce the civil orders issued by the courts.
The review was undertaken with an aim to modernise and streamline civil enforcement procedures in South Australia. The review was conducted by a panel, which included representatives of the judiciary, the Courts Administration Authority, the Sheriff's Office, the then President of the Law Society, and the Attorney-General's Department. The panel also included relevant solicitors with expertise in civil enforcement proceedings.Outline of the Proposed Amendments
Amendments under the Bill
Some of the amendments recommended by the review proposed by the Bill includes changes to the Enforcement of Judgments Act 1991 (SA), such as the introduction of investigation notices and garnishee orders. The Bill also seeks to amend section 7 of the Enforcement of Judgments Act 1991 (SA), in regards to seizure and sale property, in order to clarify powers that a Sheriff may exercise in relation to a warrant.
The Bill also proposes the introduction of a new section 9DA to the Sheriff's Act 1978 (SA) in regards to the circumstances under which the Sheriff may be assisted by police officers.
Commenting on the proposed amendments in his second reading speech, the Treasurer said:
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Statutes Amendment (Civil Enforcement) Bill 2021 (SA) and explanatory materials available on TimeBase's LawOne Service