What is an Order to Obtain Information (OOI)?
The judgment debtor has to attend court to provide information about their means and any other matter that might be relevant to enable the judgment creditor to enforce judgment. This route allows the judgment creditor to identify the best method of enforcement to achieve payment.
An OOI is dealt with by a court officer who will issue the judgment debtor with the Order to attend court, by appointment, for the purpose of producing the documents the court requests and to answer on oath any questions from the court.
The Judgment Debtor does not know about the Order until the notice is served. It is contempt of court for a judgment debtor not to obey the Order to attend.
Personal Service of Order and Proof of Service
The Order to attend must be served personally on the judgment debtor. In the County Court only the Enforcement Agent (Bailiff) Service can be used to serve an individual who is acting on their own behalf, a self-litigant.
In all other cases, the judgment creditor must make their own arrangements to have the judgment debtor personally served.
This is best done using a Process Server who will then file an Affidavit proving that the Order was served. The Order issued by a court contains a Penal Notice that will empower the court to commit a judgment debtor to prison for contempt in the event that the Order is not complied with, so it is important to ensure that the Order is served correctly on the judgment debtor, and that the correct proof of service is obtained.
The purpose of an OOI is to elicit sufficient information to enable the judgment creditor to make an informed decision to enforce the judgment.
The questioning is carried out either by a court officer or a judge. When questioning is carried out by a court officer the judgment creditor or his representative may attend.
Where the questioning is carried out by a judge, the judgment creditor or his representative must attend and conduct the questioning.
There are provisions for committal to prison of the judgment debtor for failure to attend. These provisions are rarely enforced, it is more usual to adjourn the matter to a later date and sometimes this may happen more than once. Committal to prison is treated as a penalty of last resort.
In some circumstances the judgment debtor's financial situation may be so that the judgment creditor may make a decision not to enforce immediately.
How to issue an Application for an Order to Obtain Information
Lodge at Court:
How to re-issue an Application for an Order that Debtor attend Court for Questioning
You will need to complete N446 form - Request for Reissue of Enforcement. There is no fee required to re-issue.