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Posted Monday, April 5, 2004 • HELP MR IRVING'S LEGAL BATTLES click

Rules of the Supreme Court: Motions for Committal

11.8 Committals, etc. (RSC O.52):

11.8.1 The court has power to punish contempt of court by an order of committal to prison or by other means. These may be by ordering the payment of a fine, by the issue of a writ of sequestration, or by making a hospital or guardianship order under certain provisions of the Mental Health Act 1983. Committal applications under RSC O.52 r.4 are always dealt with by a High Court Judge. The following provisions apply to applications made under RSC O.52 r.4.

11.8.2 The application should be made in existing proceedings by filing an application notice. If not in existing proceedings, a Part 8 Claim Form should be issued (see paragraphs 2.1 and 2.2 of the Practice Direction - Committal Applications). Evidence in support of a committal application must be by affidavit and, together with the Part 8 Claim Form or application notice, must be served personally on the person sought to be committed. A date for the hearing must be obtained from the Listing Office, Room WG5 and endorsed on or served with the Claim Form or application notice.

11.8.3 Paragraphs 2.5, 2.6 and 3.1 to 3.4 of the Practice Direction deal with the content of the evidence, and serving and filing, and paragraph 4 deals with the hearing date and management of the proceedings.

11.8.4 Committal proceedings will normally be heard in public, but see RSC O.52 r.6 which sets out certain types of cases which may be heard in private, and see paragraph 9 of the Practice Direction.

11.8.5 Where the court makes a finding of contempt, details of the contempt and of the order or undertaking breached (where appropriate) must be set out in the order. The term of any period of committal must be stated in the order and must not exceed two years. A fine must be expressed as payable to Her Majesty the Queen and the order must state the amount of the fine and the date and time within which it must be paid. A contemnor and his solicitors will be notified separately as to how the fine should be paid. A precedent of the order is in form No. 85 and will normally be drawn by the court.

11.8.6 When an order for committal to prison is made, the court will issue a warrant to the Tipstaff authorising him to convey the contemnor to the appropriate prison. A copy of the order should be served on the prison governor. RSC O.52 r.8 deals with the discharge of a person committed.



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