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December 2018 Issue 16

LegalWise will advise and assist you on all of these topics and more.

Question: May a public school attach a child's parents' house to pay for school fees?

Answer: No, section 41 of the South African Schools Act states that if a public school obtained judgment against parents for outstanding school fees, they may not approach the court to attach the house where the parents live in order to sell it to cover the outstanding school fees.

Question: What is rescission of judgment?

Answer: A rescission of judgment allows the person against whom the judgment was made (“judgment debtor”) to clear his/her name by having the judgment cancelled.

A judgment debtor would need to make an application to court for a rescission of judgment within 20 days after becoming aware of the judgment. S/he must provide good reasons for application to cancel the judgment. For example, that default judgment was taken and the judgment debtor did not intentionally ignore the summons as s/he actually never received the summons. A judgment can also be cancelled if the judgment has been paid in full.

Question: When does a judgment against a debtor prescribe?

Answer: A judgment against a person will only prescribe (fall away) after 30 years.

However, it should be noted that if execution proceedings are not started (such as getting a warrant of execution), a judgment is of full force and effect for three years from the date on which it has been granted. Thereafter, it becomes superannuated. This means that even though the judgment is still valid, the judgment creditor cannot continue with execution proceedings after the three year period has expired, except if leave from the court has been obtained.

Question: What is a warrant of execution?

Answer:  A warrant of execution is a document that authorises the sheriff to go to the house or place of work of the person against whom judgment was granted, attach his/her property (for example, a television, car and/or furniture) and sell it at an auction to the highest bidder. The money of the sale will then be used to pay the judgment amount.

How can LegalWise assist you? Should you require an explanation of your rights on these topics, please contact your nearest Branch.

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