Chapter 5 Non-compliance with court orders
- R32 New statutory provisions should be enacted to replace the common law in respect of contempt involving a breach of or failure to comply with an applicable court order.
- R33 Under the new provisions, a person who has obtained an applicable court order may apply to the court for an order that the other party has failed to comply with the order.
- R34 Under the new provisions, the Solicitor-General should have discretion to apply to the courts for an order that a person has failed to comply with an applicable court order.
- R35 For the purposes of the new provisions, an applicable court order means, whether or not the order is in a judgment, a court order to do or abstain from doing something that is not paying a sum of money or any undertaking given to the court where, on the faith of that undertaking, the court has sanctioned a particular course of action or inaction. Orders for the recovery of land should also be excluded. The relevant court would be the court in which the applicable court order was made or any court to which the proceedings have been transferred for enforcement, or any court of appeal hearing an appeal in respect of the proceedings.
- R36 The court may make an order finding the person has failed to comply with an applicable court order if satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that:
- (a) the applicable court order has been made in clear and unambiguous terms and is binding on the person;
- (b) the person has knowledge or proper notice of the terms of the court order being enforced; and
- (c) the person has, without reasonable excuse, intentionally failed to comply with the applicable court order.
- R37 Where the person who has failed to comply with the applicable court order is a company or incorporated society the court may make an order finding any director or officer of the company or incorporated society has failed to comply with an applicable court order under R36.
- R38 On making a finding that a person has failed to comply with an applicable court order, the court may sentence the person to:
- (a) a term of imprisonment not exceeding 6 months; or
- (b) a fine not exceeding $25,000.
- R39 On making a finding that a person has failed to comply with an applicable court order, the High Court may issue a sequestration order against the property of the non-complying party.
- R40 The Sentencing Act 2002 should apply in respect of any sentence imposed by the court under the new provision as if the person had been convicted of an offence.
- R41 Appeals against any finding that a person has failed to comply with an applicable court order under the new provision should be heard under subpart 5 of Part 6 (sections 260 to 269) of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011.