CASHFLOW | What is a Stay of Execution?



The term “stay of execution” is a point in time in the enforcement of the Court’s Order which stops the enforcement process. Judgment debtors may make the application in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules (the “CPR”) in England and Wales, and if the application is made it may cause an impact on the enforcement process.


What is often misunderstood by people making an application for a stay of execution is that the application for a stay is not enough to stop the enforcement of a judgment or order. The stay itself must be accompanied by an immediate order, to stop the enforcement process.


Masters in the High Court and District Judges can be asked to make an immediate Order to stop enforcement and will, in our experience, grant an order for 24 or 48 hours or a date in the future, for the parties to prepare for a more in-depth hearing in which the merits of the application for a stay of execution will be granted or denied.


Time For Complying With A Judgment Or Order

Under CPR Part 40.11 the judgment debtor must comply with the Court’s judgment or order to pay a sum of money (including any costs awarded) within 14 days of the date of the judgment or order. From the judgment creditor’s point of view, this means that there is a 14-day window given to the Judgment Debtor in which to pay up what is due.


This will be the situation unless the judgment or order specifies a different date for compliance (including specifying payment by instalments) elsewhere in the CPR, a different date is specified for compliance of the Court’s judgment or order compliance, or the court has stayed the proceedings or judgment – CPR Parts 12 and 14 specify different dates for complying with certain default judgments and judgments on admissions


Anticipating a Stay from the Creditor’s Point of View

Judgment Creditors can take steps to prevent a Judgment Debtor from being able to apply for a stay of execution. Stays normally crop up where |


The Judgment Debtor claims that proceedings were not properly served in accordance with Court Rules. It is important that Claimants follow the Rules for service and the Rules on “last known address” to stop this reason from being ground to stay execution


Check that the chosen enforcement remedy is researched and ticks all the boxes in terms of ownership of assets, location of bank account etc. and that all the Court Rules are complied with

If the enforcement remedy is to take legal control of goods using a High Court Enforcement Officer under a Writ of Control, then always check with the High Court Enforcement Officer about what we call “the enforcement strategy”. Which address are you using? Why do you believe goods belonging to the Judgment Debtor are located at that address? If you’re guessing about what may be there, a factor that into your outcome. The more you can verify that goods belonging to the Judgment Debtor are a