Bringing or Defending a Civil Case
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X. How to enforce a court judgment after winning the case

A litigant who obtains a court judgment against the other party does not automatically obtain the remedy (e.g. compensation) sought in the legal proceedings. This is because the court never enforces a judgment for the winning party on its own initiative. It is always for the winning party to decide when and how it would be best to enforce it. Different methods are used for different forms of assets.

If the court judgment is related to debt recovery or monetary compensation, the party who is ordered to pay according to that judgment is called the "judgment debtor ", and the party who is entitled to enforce execution under the judgment is called the "judgment creditor ".

The following questions and answers only highlight the usual options available for enforcing a court judgement. If you are the plaintiff or the judgment creditor, you must consult a lawyer before adopting any of these options.

  1. How can I know if the judgment debtor has the financial resources to satisfy the court judgment and to pay the debt?
  2. How can I prevent the judgment debtor from leaving Hong Kong as a way to escape liability for paying the judgment debt?
  3. How can the Bailiff's Office assist me to recover my debt/compensation/premises from the judgment debtor/defendant?
  4. If I (as a judgment creditor) realise that someone owes money to the judgment debtor, can I get my money directly from that third party?
  5. If the judgment debtor does not have any cash but owns a property/flat, can I (as the judgment creditor) take legal action against the debtor's flat?
  6. As a judgment creditor, can I enforce the judgment if the judgment debtor has lodged an application for permission to appeal?
  7. If I am the judgment debtor and will launch an appeal to the Court of Appeal, what steps have to be taken if I want to have a stay of execution (suspend the execution) of the judgment or order against me?