• Chapter 8: Chapter 8: Attachment of Earnings

    • 141. Court of First Instance to have power to attach earnings

      (1) The Court of First Instance may make an attachment of earnings order to secure the payment of a judgment debt, other than a debt of less than US$100 or such other sum as may be prescribed by court procedure rules.
      (2) Any power conferred by these Regulations to make an attachment of earnings order includes a power to make such an order to secure the discharge of liabilities arising before the coming into force of these Regulations.

    • 142. Orders to which these Regulations apply

      Sections 143 to 159 apply, except where otherwise stated, to attachments of earnings orders made or to be made, by the Court of First Instance under these Regulations.

    • 143. Principal definitions

      In sections 141 to 159

      (a) "judgment debt" means a sum payable under —
      (i) a judgment or order enforceable by a Court in the Abu Dhabi Global Market; or
      (ii) an order of any Court which is enforceable as if it were for the payment of money so recoverable;
      (b) "the relevant adjudication", in relation to any payment secured or to be secured by an attachment of earnings order, means the judgment, order or other adjudication from which there arises the liability to make payment; and
      (c) "the debtor", in relation to an attachment of earnings order, or to proceedings in which the Court has power to make an attachment of earnings order, or to proceedings arising out of such an order, means the person by whom payment is required by the relevant adjudication to be made.

    • 144. Application for an order and conditions of the Court of First Instance's power to make such order

      (1) The person to whom payment under the relevant adjudication is required to be made (whether directly or through the Court or an officer of the Court) may apply for an attachment of earnings order.
      (2) For an attachment of earnings order to be made on the application of any person other than the debtor it must appear to the Court that the debtor has failed to make one or more payments required by the relevant adjudication.

    • 145. Effect and contents of attachment of earnings order

      (1) An attachment of earnings order shall be an order directed to a person who appears to the Court of First Instance to have the debtor in his employment and shall operate as an instruction to that person —
      (a) to make periodical deductions from the debtor's earnings, as specified in the order; and
      (b) at such times as the order may require, or as the Court may allow, to pay the amounts deducted to the collecting officer of the Court, as specified in the order.
      (2) If the Court of First Instance makes an attachment of earnings order to secure payment of a judgment debt, the order must specify that periodical deductions are to be made in accordance with the fixed deductions scheme.
      (3) If the Court of First Instance makes any other attachment of earnings order, the order must specify that periodical deductions are to be made in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 2.
      (4) For the purposes of these Regulations, the relationship of employer and employee shall be treated as subsisting between two persons if one of them, as principal and not as a servant or agent, pays to the other any sums defined as earnings by section 158.
      (5) An attachment of earnings order shall contain prescribed particulars enabling the debtor to be identified by the employer.
      (6) The order shall specify the whole amount payable under the relevant adjudication (or so much of that amount as remains unpaid), including any relevant costs.
      (7) A Schedule 2 deductions order shall specify —
      (a) the normal deduction rate, that is to say, the rate (expressed as a sum of money per week, month or other period) at which the Court thinks it reasonable for the debtor's earnings to be applied to meeting his liability under the relevant adjudication; and
      (b) the protected earnings rate, that is to say the rate (so expressed) below which, having regard to the debtor's resources and needs, the Court thinks it reasonable that the earnings actually paid to him should not be reduced.
      (8) For the purposes of an attachment of earning order, the collecting officer of the Court shall be (subject to later variation of the order under section 149) the proper officer of the Court of First Instance.
      (9) In subsection (8) "proper officer" means an officer designated by the Chief Justice.
      (10) The Chief Justice may by order make such provision as he considers expedient (including transitional provision) with a view to providing for the payment of amounts deducted under attachment of earnings orders to be made to such officers as may be designated by the order rather than to collecting officers of the Court.
      (11) Any such order may make such amendments to these Regulations in relation to the functions exercised by or in relation to collecting officers of the Court as the Chief Justice considers expedient in consequence of the provision made by virtue of subsection (10).

    • 146. The fixed deductions scheme

      (1) In sections 141 to 159 and Schedule 3 "fixed deductions scheme" means any scheme that the Board (in consultation with and on the recommendation of the Chief Justice) makes which specifies the rates and frequencies at which deductions are to be made under the attachment of earnings orders so as to secure the repayment of judgment debts.
      (2) The Board may establish the fixed deductions scheme by rules.
      (3) The Board may not make rules under subsection (2) without first consulting the Chief Justice.

    • 147. Compliance with an attachment of earnings order by an employer

      (1) Where an attachment of earnings order has been made, the employer shall, if he has been served with the order, comply with it; but he shall be under no liability for non-compliance before seven days have elapsed since the service.
      (2) Where a person is served with an attachment of earnings order directed to him and the debtor is not, or subsequently ceases to be, in his employment, he shall (in either case) within ten days from the date of service or, as the case may be, the cesser, give notice of that fact to the Court of First Instance.
      (3) Part 2 of Schedule 2 shall have effect with respect to the priority to be accorded as between two or more attachment of earnings order directed to a person in respect of the same debtor.
      (4) On any occasion when the employer makes, in compliance with the order, a deduction from the debtor's earnings —
      (a) he shall be entitled to deduct, in addition, an amount not exceeding 5% of the monthly deduction towards his clerical and administrative costs; and
      (b) he shall give to the debtor a statement in writing of the total amount of the deduction.

    • 148. Interrelation with alternative remedies open to creditors

      Where the Court of First Instance has made an attachment of earnings order to secure the payment of a judgment debt, so long as the order is in force, no execution for the recovery of the debt shall be issued against any of the debtor's property without the leave of the Court of First Instance.

    • 149. Variation, lapse and discharge of attachment of earnings orders

      (1) The Court of First Instance may make an order discharging or varying an attachment of earnings order.
      (2) Subsection (1) is subject to Schedule 3 (which deals with the variation of certain attachment of earnings orders by changing the basis of deductions).
      (3) Where an order is varied, the employer shall, if he has been served with notice of the variation, comply with the order as varied; but he shall be under no liability for non-compliance before seven days have elapsed since the service.
      (4) Court procedure rules may provide as to the circumstances in which an attachment of earnings order made under these Regulations may be varied or discharged by the Court of its own motion.
      (5) Where an attachment of earnings order has been made and the person to whom it is directed ceases to have the debtor in his employment, the order shall lapse (except as regards deduction from earnings paid after the cesser and payment to the collecting officer of amounts deducted at any time) and be of no effect unless and until the Court of First Instance again directs it to a person (whether the same as before or another) who appears to the Court to have the debtor in his employment.
      (6) The lapse of an order under subsection (5) shall not prevent its being treated as remaining in force for other purposes.

    • 150. Suspension of fixed deductions orders

      (1) The Court of First Instance must make an order suspending a fixed deductions order if the Court is satisfied of either or both of the following —
      (a) that the fixed deductions order requires periodical deductions to be made at a rate which is not appropriate;
      (b) that the fixed deductions order requires periodical deductions to be made at times which are not appropriate.
      (2) The Court of First Instance is to make the suspension order on the following terms —
      (a) if the condition in subsection (1)(a) is met: on terms specifying the rate at which the debtor must make repayments (whether higher or lower than the rate at which the order requires the deductions to be made);
      (b) if the condition in subsection (1)(b) is met: on terms specifying the times at which the debtor must make repayments;
      (c) if either or both conditions are met: on any additional terms that the Court thinks appropriate having regard to all of the circumstances.
      (3) If the employer is given notice of the suspension order, he must cease to make the deductions required by the fixed deductions order; but the employer is under no liability for non-compliance before seven days have elapsed since service of the notice.
      (4) The Court of First Instance —
      (a) must revoke the suspension order if any of the terms of the suspension order are breached;
      (b) may revoke the suspension order in any other circumstances if it thinks that it is appropriate to do.
      (5) Court procedure rules may make provision as to the circumstances in which the Court of First Instance may of its own motion —
      (a) make a suspension order; or
      (b) revoke a suspension order.
      (6) The suspension of a fixed deductions order under this section does not prevent the order from being treated as remaining in force subject to the provisions of this section.
      (7) This section does not affect any other powers of the Court to suspend attachment of earnings orders or to revoke the suspension of such orders.
      (8) In this section, in relation to a fixed deductions order, "repayments" means repayments of the judgment debt to which the order relates.

    • 151. Termination of employer's liability to made deductions

      (1) Where an attachment of earnings order ceases to have effect under section 148, the proper officer shall give notice of the cesser to the person to whom the order was directed.
      (2) Where the whole amount payable under the relevant adjudication has been paid, and also any relevant costs, the Court shall give notice to the employer that no further compliance with the order is required.
      (3) Where an attachment of earnings order —
      (a) ceases to have effect under section 148; or
      (b) is discharged under section 149,
      the person to whom the order has been directed shall be under no liability in consequence of his treating the order as still in force at any time before the expiration of seven days from the date on which the notice required by subsection (1) or, as the case may be, a copy of the discharging order is served on him.

    • 152. Application of sums received by collection officer

      (1) Subject to subsection (2), the collecting officer to whom a person makes payment in compliance with an attachment of earnings order shall, after deducting such court fees, if any, in respect of proceedings for or arising out of the order, as are deductible from those payments, deal with the sums paid in the same way as he would if they had been paid by the debtor to satisfy the relevant adjudication.
      (2) Where the Court of First Instance makes an attachment of earnings order to secure the payment of a judgment debt, sums paid to the collecting officer in compliance with the attachment of earnings order shall not be dealt with by him in accordance with subsection (1), but shall be retained by him pending the decision of the Court whether or not to make an administration order and shall then be dealt with by him as the Court may direct.

    • 153. Power of the Court of First Instance to obtain a statement of earnings etc.

      (1) Where in any proceedings the Court of First Instance has the power under these Regulations to make a Schedule 2 deductions order, the Court may —
      (a) order the debtor to give to the Court within a specified period, a statement signed by him of —
      (i) the name and address of any person by whom earnings are paid to him;
      (ii) specified particulars as to his earnings and anticipated earnings, and as to his resources and needs;
      (iii) specified particulars for the purpose of enabling the debtor to be identified by an employer of his; and
      (b) order any person appearing to the Court to have the debtor in his employment to give to the Court within a specified period, a statement signed by him or on his behalf or specified particulars of the debtor's earnings and anticipated earnings.
      (2) Where in any proceedings the Court of First Instance has power to make a fixed deductions order, the Court may order the debtor to give to the Court, within a specified period, a statement signed by him of —
      (a) the name and address of any person by whom earnings are paid to him; and
      (b) specified particulars for enabling the debtor to be identified by any employer of his.
      (3) At any time when a Schedule 2 deductions order is in force, the Court may —
      (a) make such an order as is described in subsection (1)(a) or (b); and
      (b) order the debtor to attend before the Court on a day and at a time specified in the order to give the information described in subsection (1)(a).
      (4) At any time when a fixed deductions order is in force, the Court may —
      (a) make such an order as is described in subsection (2); and
      (b) order the debtor to attend before it on a day and at a time specified in the order to give the information described in subsection (2).
      (5) Without affecting subsections (1) to (4), Court Procedure Rules may provide that where notice of an application for an attachment of earnings order is served on the debtor, it shall include a requirement that he shall, within such period and in such manner as may be prescribed, give the Court a statement in accordance with subsection (6) or (7).
      (6) In a case where the attachment of earnings order would, if made, be a Schedule 2 deductions order, the debtor must give a statement in writing of —
      (a) the matters specified in subsection (1)(a); and
      (b) any other prescribed matters which are, or may be, relevant under section 145 to the determination of the normal deduction rate and the protected earnings rate to be specified in any attachment of earnings order made on the application.
      (7) In a case where the attachment of earnings order would, if made, be a fixed deductions order, the debtor must give a statement in writing of the matters specified in subsection (2).
      (8) In any proceedings in which the Court of First Instance has the power under these Regulations to make an attachment of earnings order, and in any proceedings for the making, variation or discharge of such an order, a document purporting to be a statement given to the Court in compliance with an order under subsection (1)(a) or (b) or (2), or with any such requirement of a notice of application for an attachment of earnings order as mentioned in subsection (5), shall, in the absence of proof to the contrary, be deemed to be a statement so given and shall be evidence of the facts stated therein.

    • 154. Obligation of debtor and his employers to notify changes of employment and earnings

      While an attachment of earnings order is in force —

      (a) the debtor shall from time to time notify the Court in writing of every occasion on which he leaves any employment, or becomes employed or re-employed, not later (in each case) than seven days from the date on which he did so;
      (b) if the order is a Schedule 2 deductions order, the debtor shall, on any occasion when he becomes employed or re-employed include in his notification under paragraph (a) particulars of his earnings and anticipated earnings from the relevant employment;
      (c) any person who becomes the debtor's employer and knows that the order is in force shall, within seven days of his becoming the debtor's employer or of acquiring that knowledge (whichever is the later), notify the Court in writing that he is the debtor's employer, and if the order is a Schedule 2 deductions order, include in his notification a statement of the debtor's earnings and anticipated earnings.

    • 155. Penalties for non-compliance with section 153 orders

      (1) If, where the Court of First Instance makes an order pursuant to section 153, the debtor, or any person appearing to the Court to have the debtor in his employment pursuant to section 153(1)(b), fails to provide the statement required by that section or wilfully provides the Court with information which he knows or believes to be false or otherwise misleading, that person shall be liable to a fine not exceeding level 8 on the standard fines scale.
      (2) For the purposes of this section "information" means information in any form.

    • 156. Power of the Court of First Instance to determine whether particular payments are earnings

      (1) Where an attachments of earnings order is in force, the Court shall, on the application of a person specified in subsection (2) below, determine whether payments to the debtor of a particular class or description specified by the application are earnings for the purposes of the order; and the employer shall be entitled to give effect to any determination for the time being in force under this section.
      (2) The persons referred to in subsection (1) are —
      (a) the employer;
      (b) the debtor; and
      (c) the person to whom payment under the relevant adjudication is required to be made (whether directly or through an officer of the Court).
      (3) Where an application under this section is made by the employer, he shall not incur any liability for non-compliance with the order as respects any payments of the class or description specified by the application which are made by him to the debtor while the application, or any subsequent appeal, is pending; but this subsection shall not, unless the Court otherwise orders, apply as regards such payments if the employer subsequently withdraws the application or, as the case may be, abandons the appeal.
      (4) On making a determination under this section, the Court of First Instance may in its discretion make such order as it thinks just and reasonable for payment by any of the persons mentioned in subsection (2) of the whole or any part of the costs of the determination.
      (5) Costs ordered to be paid under subsection (4) shall be enforceable as a civil debt.

    • 157. Consolidated attachment orders

      (1) The powers of the Court of First Instance under sections 141 and 144 shall include the power to make an attachment of earnings order to secure the payment of any number of judgment debts.
      (2) An attachment of earnings order made by virtue of this section shall be known as a consolidated attachment order.
      (3) The power to make a consolidated attachment order shall be exercised subject to and in accordance with court procedure rules; and court procedure rules made for the purposes of this section may provide —
      (a) for cases in which any power exercisable under this section or the court procedure rules may be exercised by the Court of First Instance of its own motion or on the application of a prescribed person; and
      (b) for requiring the officer of the Court who receives payments made to him in compliance with an attachment of earnings order, instead of complying with section 152, to deal with them as directed by the Court or the court procedure rules.
      (4) Section 145(2) applies to a consolidated attachment order which the Court of First Instance makes to secure the payment of two or more judgment debts even if, immediately before the order is made, one or more of those debts is secured by a Schedule 2 deductions order.

    • 158. Meaning of "earnings"

      (1) For the purposes of these Regulations, but subject to the following subsection, "earnings" are any sums payable to a person —
      (a) by way of wages or salary (including any fees, bonus, commission, overtime pay or other emoluments payable in addition to wages or salary or payable under a contract for service);
      (b) by way of pension (including an annuity in respect of past services), whether or not rendered to the person paying the annuity, and including periodical payments by way of compensation for the loss, abolition or relinquishment, or diminution in the emoluments, of any office or employment.
      (2) The following shall not be treated as earnings —
      (a) sums payable by any public department of the Abu Dhabi Global Market;
      (b) any wage or salary sacrifices.

    • 159. General Interpretation

      (1) In sections 141 to 158 (and this section) and Schedules 2 and 3 of these Regulations, except where the context otherwise requires —
      (a) "the Court" in relation to an attachment of earnings order, means the Court of First Instance;
      (b) "the employer", in relation to an attachment of earnings order, means the person who is required by the order to make deductions from earnings paid by him to the debtor;
      (c) "fixed deductions order" means an attachment of earnings order under which periodical deductions are to be made in accordance with the fixed deductions scheme;
      (d) "prescribed" means prescribed by court procedure rules;
      (e) "Schedule 2 deductions order" means an attachment of earnings order under which periodical deductions are to be made in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 2;
      (f) "suspension order" means an order under section 150 suspending a fixed deductions order.
      (2) Any reference in sections 141 to 158 (and this section) to sums payable under a judgment or order, or to the payment of such sums, includes a reference to costs and the payment of them; and the references in sections 145(6) and 151(2) to relevant costs are to any costs of the proceedings in which the attachment of earnings order in question was made, being costs which the debtor is liable to pay.
      (3) References in sections 145(7)(b) and 153(1)(a) to the debtor's needs include references to the needs of any person for whom he must, or reasonably may, provide.
      (4) Any power to make court procedure rules which is conferred by these Regulations does not affect any other power to make court procedure rules.