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Examination Order - Step by step guide

If the judgment debtor does not comply with the Examination Notice within the period of time given in the notice (at least 28 days) you can ask the court to issue an Examination Order. This is an order that the judgment debtor must come to court to answer questions and show documents about their financial position. This is called 'examination'.

The judgment debtor has failed to comply with the Examination Notice if:

  • they ignore your notice completely
  • they partly fill in the notice but don't give you all the information
  • they give you all the information but they don't give you any of the documents you asked for.

For more information on issuing an Examination Notice, see Examination Notice - Step by step guide.

There are 6 steps you should follow:

​​ Step-by-step guide icon Getting an Examination Order - Step by step Guide

Step 1: Get the form

You will need the following forms:

  • Form 53 - Notice of Motion Examination Order
  • Form 54 - Examination Order

You can get copies of forms from:

An application for an Examination Order must be supported by an affidavit, which​ is in the Notice of Motion form.

​Step 2: Fill out ​and sign the Notice of Motion - Examination Order and the Examination Order forms

You can fill out the Examination Order form in neat handwriting in blue or black pen. You can also fill it out on your computer screen. The Guide to Completing Approved Forms has instructions on how to do this.

To fill in the Notice of Motion - Examination Order and the Examination Order, you will need to have the following information ready:

  • your case number
  • the date of the judgment against the debtor
  • a list of the documents you want from the judgment debtor
  • amounts of payments received, if any, from the judgment debtor
  • the amount awarded by the court as judgment
  • a re-calculated amount of post judgment interest to include the extra days between the judgment and the filing of the Notice of Motion (see Interest, filing and service fees)
  • the cost of the filing fee
  • the cost of the service fee for the Examination Order
  • the date the Examination Notice was sent
  • the reason why the judgment debtor has failed to comply with the Examination Notice
  • whether the judgment debtor lives or works within 30 kilometres of the court
  • whether any instalment order has been made.

It will help to have your copy of the Examination Notice with you while you fill out the forms.

Hint icon A copy of the Examination Notice you posted to the judgment debtor must be attached (annexed) to the Notice of Motion.

Alert Icon The judgment debtor must come to the courthouse named in the Examination Order. This will be the court where judgment was entered. If the debtor lives or works more than 30 kilometres from the court where the judgment was entered the examination hearing will be at the court nearest to the debtor. If you do not list the correct location, the court staff may change the venue. Go to your nearest Local Court.

For detailed instructions see:

Instructions for filling out a Notice of Motion - Examination Order

Sample Notice of Motion - Examination Order

Instructions for filling out an Examination Order

Sample Examination Order

Step 3: File​ the Notice of Motion - Examination Order and the Examination Order forms

The Notice of Motion - Examination Order and the Examination Order forms must be filed with the court. You should file the original signed documents and three copies. One of the copies will be for you, one copy for the judgment debtor and one copy to be annexed to the Affidavit of Service. The filing fee is $84.00 for an individual and $168.00 for a corporation (as at 1 July 2016). Check the current fees.

Alert Icon The court officer will complete the section titled 'When and Where to attend court' on the Examination Order. This will tell the judgment debtor the time, date and place to attend for examination.

Step 4: Serve​ the Examination Order

The Examination Order must be served on the judgment debtor:

  • ​by personally handing it to them, or
  • by leaving it with a person at the judgment debtor's home or work address who appears to be over the age of 16 years and living or working at that address. 

You can pay for a professional process server to serve the Examination Order or arrange it yourself.

Alert Icon An order for examination must be served on the judgment debtor at least 14 days before the day on which he or she is required to attend for examination.

Step 5: Fill ​out and sign Affidavit of Service

If a professional process server serves the Examination Order, they will also prepare an Affidavit of Service.

If you served the Examination Order yourself or arranged for a friend or relative to do it, the person who served the Examination Order needs to fill out and sign an Affidavit of Service. For more information, see Instructions for filling out an Affidavit of Service, Sample Affidavit of Service 1 and Sample Affidavit of Service 2.

Alert Icon The judgment debtor might object to, that is they may disagree with, providing the documents you have asked for or attending the court to be examined. They might also argue that they don't owe the money or that the amount is incorrect. The judgment debtor can make an application to the court asking for the default judgment to be set aside and to stay the enforcement. You will be served with a copy of the application. If this happens to you, you should get legal advice.

Step 6: Attend court for Examination

On the date given, you must go to court for the examination. The examination process is an informal process between you and the judgment debtor - it's not a formal hearing, and the court registrar or magistrate is not usually involved. 

You should ask the judgment debtor questions about their income, assets and other debts, and provide documents about their financial circumstances.

For example, you could ask the judgment debtor things like:

  • are you currently working and how much do you earn?
  • do you own a house or any other real property, and what is its market value? Do you have a mortgage on that property, and how much do you owe?
  • do you own any motor vehicles, boats or caravans? What is the year, make, model, and do you owe any money on it?
  • describe all debts that you have, including credit cards, store cards, personal loans
  • how much do you spend on day to day living?

You should also ask them to give you the documents you listed in your application for an examination order, such as:

  • all bank statements, including those showing their current bank balance
  • evidence of ownership of property and motor vehicles, for example certificates of title, mortgage loan documents, motor vehicle registration papers
  • latest income tax assessment
  • recent payslips
  • rent receipts.

This information can help you decide the best way to enforce the judgment. If the debtor does not answer questions, you should tell the registrar. They will advise the debtor that the questions have to be answered. If the debtor still refuses, the registrar can refer the matter to a magistrate.

Alert Icon If the examination is at a court a long way from where you live, you can ask the registrar at that court to conduct the examination on your behalf.

For more information, see Examination Notice and Examination Order - Frequently Asked Questions​.