Superior Court Rules

ORDER 57

INTERPLEADER

1. Relief by way of interpleader may be granted—

(a) where the person seeking relief (in this Order called the applicant) is under liability for any debt, money, goods, or chattels, for or in respect of which he is, or expects to be, sued by two or more parties (in this Order called the claimants) making adverse claims thereto; or

(b) where the applicant is a sheriff or other officer charged with the execution of process by or under the authority of the High Court, the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court and claim is made to any money, goods, or chattels taken or intended to be taken in execution under any process, or to the proceeds or value of any such goods or chattels by any person other than the person against whom the process issued.

[SI 485/14]

2. (1) The applicant must satisfy the court by affidavit or otherwise—

(a) that the applicant claims no interest in the subject-matter in dispute, other than for charges or costs; and

(b) that the applicant does not collude with any of the claimants; and

(c) that the applicant, except where he is a sheriff or other officer charged with the execution of process by or under the authority of the High Court, the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court who has seized goods and who has withdrawn from possession in consequence of the execution creditor admitting the claim of the claimant under rule 15, is willing to pay or transfer the subject-matter into court or to dispose of it as the court may direct.

[SI 485/14]

(2) The affidavit shall be in the Form No 23 in Appendix C.

3. The applicant shall not be disentitled to relief by reason only that the titles of the claimants have not a common origin, but are adverse to and independent of one another.

4. Where the applicant is a defendant, application for relief may be made by motion on notice at any time after the commencement of the proceedings. In any other case, the application shall be by special summons.

5. The application for relief shall call on the claimants to state the nature and particulars of their claims and either to maintain or relinquish them.

6. If the application is made by a defendant in an action the court may stay all further proceedings in the action.

7. If the claimants maintain their claims, the court may order either that any claimant be made a defendant in any action already commenced in respect of the subject-matter in dispute in lieu of or in addition to the applicant, or that an issue between the claimants be stated and tried, and in the latter case may direct which of the claimants is to be plaintiff, and which defendant, in such issue.

8. The court may, with the consent of both claimants, or on the request of any claimant, if, having regard to the value of the subject matter in dispute, it seems desirable so to do, dispose of the merits of their claims, and decide the same in a summary manner and on such terms as may be just.

9. Where the question is a question of law, and the facts are not in dispute, the court may either decide the question without directing the trial of an issue, or order that a special case be stated for the opinion of the court. If a special case is stated, Order 34 shall, so far as applicable, apply thereto.

10. If a claimant fails to maintain, or relinquish, his claim in such proceedings, or neglects or refuses to comply with any order made therein, the court may make an order declaring him, and all persons claiming under him, for ever barred against the applicant and persons claiming under him, but the order shall not affect the rights of the claimants as between themselves.

11. When goods or chattels have been seized in execution by a sheriff or other officer charged with the execution of process of the High Court, the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court, and any claimant alleges that he is entitled under a bill of sale or otherwise to the goods or chattels by way of security for debt, the court may order the sale of the whole or a part thereof and direct the application of the proceeds of the sale in such manner and upon such terms as may be just.

[SI 485/14]

12. Orders 31 and 36 shall, with the necessary modifications, apply to an interpleader issue; and the court which tries the issue may finally dispose of the whole matter of the interpleader proceedings including all costs not otherwise provided for.

13. Where in any interpleader proceedings it is necessary or expedient to make one order in several causes or matters such order may be made by the court before which the interpleader proceeding may be taken, and shall be entitled in all such causes or matters; and any such order (subject to the right of appeal) shall be binding on the parties in all such causes or matters.

14. The court may, in or for the purposes of any interpleader proceedings, make all such orders as to costs and all other matters as may be just and reasonable.

15. Any claim to or in respect of any goods or chattels taken in execution under the process of the court shall be made in writing, and upon the receipt of the claim, the sheriff or his officer shall forthwith give notice thereof to the execution creditor according to the Form No 24 in Appendix C, and the execution creditor shall, within four days after receiving the notice, give notice to the sheriff or his officer that he admits or disputes the claim, according to the Form No 25 in Appendix C. If the execution creditor admits the title of the claimant, and gives notice as directed by this rule, he shall only be liable to such sheriff or officer for any fees and expenses incurred prior to the receipt of the notice admitting the claim.

16. When the execution creditor has given notice to the sheriff or his officer that he admits the claim of the claimant, the sheriff may thereupon withdraw from possession of the goods claimed, and may apply for an order protecting him from any action in respect of the said seizure and possession of the said goods, and the court may make any such order as may be just and reasonable in respect of the same; provided always, that the claimant shall receive notice of such intended application, and may attend the hearing of the same, and if he attend, the court may, in and for the purposes of such application, make all such orders as to cost as may be just and reasonable.

17. Where the execution creditor does not in due time, as directed by rule 15, admit or dispute the title of the claimant to the goods or chattels, and the claimant does not withdraw his claim thereto by notice in writing to the sheriff or his officer, the sheriff may apply for an interpleader order, and the court may, in and for the purposes of such interpleader proceedings, make all such orders as to costs, fees, charges and expenses, as may be just and reasonable.

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