CHAPTER 3:05
SHERIFFS

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   SECTION

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
APPOINTMENT OF SHERIFF AND OTHER OFFICERS

   3.   Appointment of Sheriff, Under-Sheriff and Assistant Sheriffs

   4.   Sheriff, etc., to be officers of court and they and persons acting under their directions or authority deemed employed in public service

   5.   Delegation of duties

PART III
ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS AND ORDERS AGAINST MOVABLE PROPERTY AND COMMITTALS, ETC.

   6.   Execution of judgments or orders for sum of money

   7.   Execution of orders for payment by instalments

   8.   Execution to be superseded on payment

   9.   Power to suspend execution

   10.   Execution of warrants of possession

   11.   Property which may be seized

   12.   Custody of property seized

   13.   Disposal of bills of exchange, etc., seized

   14.   Penalty for obstructing execution

   15.   Period to elapse before sale

   16.   Sales under execution to be published unless otherwise ordered

   17.   Delivery of movable property in possession of judgment debtor

   18.   Priority of warrants

   19.   Sales, the title obtained thereat and prohibition of certain purchases

   20.   Claims to property seized and interpleader by Sheriff

   21.   Claims for rent where property seized in execution

   22.   Surplus after sale, residue of property, etc.

   23.   Property subject to lien

   24.   Issue and execution of orders of committal

PART IV
ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS AGAINST PRIVATE LAND NOT REGISTERED IN THE LANDS REGISTER

   25.   Application of Part

   26.   Judgment creditor to file affidavit

   27.   Memorandum of approval by Registrar

   28.   Registration in Deeds Registry Office

   29.   Effect of registration

   30.   Execution of judgments of subordinate courts against land

   31.   Satisfaction of judgment

   32.   Order for sale

   33.   Notice of application

   34.   Powers of High Court in regard to sale

   35.   Application for stay

   36.   Land to be sold by public auction

   37.   Movable property to be first proceeded against

   38.   Protection of officers

   39.   Appeal from Deeds Registrar or Registrar

PART V
ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS AGAINST LAND REGISTERED IN THE LANDS REGISTER

   40.   Application of Part

   41.   Inhibition order against registered land, etc.

   42.   Order for sale of registered land, etc.

   43.   Application of sections 33, 34, 35 and 36 to sales, etc., under this Part

PART VI
MISCELLANEOUS

   44.   Indemnity of Sheriff, etc.

   45.   Appearances by Sheriff and costs against Sheriff

   46.   Sheriff’s powers of entry, search, etc.

   47.   Rules

   48.   Saving of existing forms, fees, etc.

   49.   Partly completed executions

   50.   Saving

38 of 1967
22 of 1988

An Act to make provision for the appointment of Sheriffs and other officers, to set out their respective powers and duties and the manner of the exercise thereof, and for matters incidental thereto

[1ST FEBRUARY 1968]

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Sheriffs Act.

2.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

   “court” means the High Court and a subordinate court;

   “judgment debtor” means a person liable under a judgment;

   “process” means a formal written authority issued by a court for the enforcement of a judgment and includes a warrant of possession and any warrant or order of arrest, commitment or imprisonment;

   “Sheriff” includes the Sheriff of Malawi appointed under section 3 (1), any Deputy Sheriff, any Under-Sheriff and any Assistant Sheriff appointed under section 3 (2);

   “subordinate court” bears the meaning ascribed to that term by section 2 of the Courts Act;

   “warrant” includes writ.

PART II
APPOINTMENT OF SHERIFF AND OTHER OFFICERS

3.   Appointment of Sheriff, Deputy Sheriff, Under-Sheriff and Assistant Sheriffs

   (1) The President may appoint a person to be Sheriff of Malawi.

   (2) The President may appoint one or more persons to be Deputy Sheriffs or to be Under-Sheriffs and as many persons as he deems necessary to be Assistant Sheriffs.

   (3) In the exercise of his powers and in the performance of his duties under this Act, a Deputy Sheriff, an Under-Sheriff and an Assistant Sheriff shall be subject to any general or special directions of the Sheriff. A Deputy Sheriff, an Under-Sheriff and an Assistant Sheriff shall have the same powers and protection as the Sheriff.

   (4) Unless and until other appointments are made to such offices under this section—

   (a)   the Registrar of the High Court shall be the Sheriff; and

   (b)   each District Commissioner shall be an Assistant Sheriff.

4.   Sheriff, etc., to be officers of court and they and persons acting under their directions or authority deemed employed in public service

   (1) The Sheriff, a Deputy Sheriff, an Under-Sheriff and an Assistant Sheriff shall, in the performance of his duties in connection with any process, be an officer of the court by which such process was issued.

   (2) The Sheriff, a Deputy Sheriff, an Under-Sheriff, an Assistant Sheriff and any person acting under the directions or authority of any of them shall for the purposes of the Penal Code be deemed to be persons employed in the public service.

5.   Delegation of duties

   Every duty of the Sheriff in connexion with any process may be performed by such police officer or other person as may be authorized in that behalf by the Sheriff and every such officer or person who is in possession of such process shall be presumed to be so authorized, and shall, for all purposes connected therewith, be an officer of the court by which such process was issued:

   Provided however that without the prior approval of the Commissioner of Police the Sheriff shall not authorize a police officer to perform any duty under a civil process involving the seizure and sale of any moveable property.

PART III
ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS AND ORDERS AGAINST MOVEABLE PROPERTY AND COMMITTALS, ETC.

6.   Execution of judgments or orders for sum of money

   (1) Any sum of money payable under a judgment of a court may be recovered, in case of default or failure of payment thereof forthwith or at the time or times and in the manner thereby directed, by seizure and sale of the moveable and immoveable property of the judgment debtor in accordance with this Act.

   (2) The court on the application in the prescribed manner of the judgment creditor shall cause to be issued a warrant of seizure and sale whereby the Sheriff shall be empowered to seize and sell the moveable property of the judgment debtor, wherever it may be found in Malawi, to enforce payment of the amount due under the judgment and of the costs of the execution.

This section of the article is only available for our subscribers. Please click here to subscribe to a subscription plan to view this part of the article.