ROYAL COURT OF JERSEY
Applications for a Dégrèvement
judgment debtor (“debtor”) has received formal notification from the Viscount,
(following an Acte Vicomte chargé d’écrire)
to satisfy a judgment debt, a judgment
creditor (“creditor”) may, after a period of two months in the case of a judgment of the
Royal Court or a period of three months in
the case of a judgment of the Petty Debts Court apply to the Royal Court for an act declaring
the debtor’s immoveable property
renounced with a consequential order for a dégrèvement. Such
applications have historically been made without notice to the debtor.
effect from the date of this Practice Direction when making such an
application, the creditor must be able to demonstrate to the Court that all
reasonable steps have been taken to give notice to the debtor of the creditor’s
intention to make an application at that time on that day. Notice to
the debtor should be given substantially in the form set out in the attached
schedule. Personal service is not necessary.
At least 4
working days must elapse between the date on which notice of the intended
application is given to the debtor and the date for the hearing of the
application. All supporting evidence to be relied upon at the
hearing shall also be provided to the debtor at the same time as the notice of
the intended application is delivered.
Viscount is to be given written notice of the application (and all evidence
relied upon) at the same time as notice of the application is provided to the
This Practice Direction will come into force with
immediate effect and will replace Practice Direction RC15/02 which is repealed.
current position and the dégrèvement proceedings.
As you are
aware, we are instructed by [creditor] and on [date] judgment was taken against
you in the sum of £[ ]. We obtained an order from the
[Royal/Petty Debts] Court (without notice to you) on [date] for an Acte Vicomte chargé d’ecrire which
was served on you on [date]. That order gave you notice that if you
did not repay the debt within [two/three] calendar months from the date of the
order, your assets may be adjudged renounced by the Royal Court. In other words,
any property you own could be seized for the benefit of one or more of your
payment in full is received by [date] our client has instructed us to make an
application for renunciation at the next Royal Court sitting on [date]. This
letter constitutes formal notice that this application will be made; for any
land or buildings you own the application will be for a process known as dégrèvement. For
all your other possessions or property which is not land the application will
be for a process known as réalisation.
purpose of this letter is also to warn you of the effect of a successful
application for dégrèvement/ réalisation, so that
you may take immediate legal advice in relation to this matter, as there may be
alternative options available to you that the Royal Court may order, in
particular a declaration of désastre (bankruptcy) or a remise
de biens. The Viscount’s Department have published guides on Désastre, Remise
and Dégrèvement, explaining the concepts and how to apply for them,
copies of which are available on their website at www.gov.je/viscount or on request in writing to the
Viscount. You should consider whether these alternatives may
be more appropriate for your financial situation. Notice is given of
the date and time we will be making this application so that you can attend
Court if you wish to make such representations as you think fit.
summary, if the renunciation application is granted, the Royal Court will order
a dégrèvement of any immovable property i.e. land or buildings
in your name. The court may also order a realisation of any movable
property which is the remainder of your property which is not land or
an order for renunciation, two Advocates or Solicitors will be appointed by the
Royal Court to be Attournés, and they will have possession and care
of all of your property from the date of the order. They will carry out all of
the procedural steps, including the publication of Notices in the Jersey
Gazette, that lead up to the dégrèvement hearing, which will
be held 4-6 weeks after the renunciation is ordered. At this hearing one of
your creditors will become the legal owner of your immovable property. You will
no longer have any rights in relation to the property and can no longer reside
there. Should you refuse to leave, further eviction proceedings will be
commenced against you. Your other possessions or property apart from land may
also be disposed of.
the dégrèvement process has been completed, you remain liable
for any unpaid debts that existed before the procedure with the exception of
the debt owed to the creditor by which he, she or it has become the legal owner
of the immovable property, which debt will be discharged (unlike in a désastre or
a successful remise de biens where the conclusion of the
procedure grants you a discharge from all your debts).
urged to take legal advice on your position as soon as possible.
creditors legal advisers]