—(1) The Registry of the subordinate courts shall be open on every day of the year except on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the registrar may lawfully sit or carry out the business of the Registry on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday if —
the Chief District Judge, with the concurrence of the Chief Justice, has directed the registrar to do so on that day; or
in the opinion of the registrar, the business to be despatched is extremely urgent.
(3) The office hours of the Registry shall be such times as the Chief District Judge, with the concurrence of the Chief Justice, may from time to time direct.
58. At any sitting of a District Court or a Magistrate’s Court both civil and criminal proceedings may be tried.
59. The distribution of business in the subordinate courts shall be made in accordance with such directions, which may be of a general or a particular nature, as may be given, with the concurrence of the Chief Justice, by the Chief District Judge.
—(1) There shall be attached to each subordinate court or a number of subordinate courts an office, under whatever name, for the purpose of carrying out the work or business in such court or courts.
(2) Subject to such directions as may be given by the Chief Justice from time to time, the Chief District Judge shall be responsible for the apportionment of the work among the several officers in any such office.
61. The Chief Justice may authorise vacations for District Courts and Magistrates’ Courts in the exercise of their civil jurisdiction not exceeding 15 days in any calendar year.
—(1) The Chief District Judge may frame and publish a list of persons proved to his satisfaction, by evidence of general repute or otherwise, to act as touts or unauthorised advisers to suitors or other persons, and may alter and amend the list.
(2) The Chief District Judge may, by general or special order, exclude from the precincts of the subordinate courts any person whose name is included in the list, except when such person is a party to or a witness in any proceedings in a subordinate court, when he shall be allowed to remain for such time as is necessary.
(3) No person’s name shall be included in the list until he has been heard or had an opportunity of being heard against such inclusion.
(4) An appeal shall lie to a Judge of the High Court in chambers from an order made by the Chief District Judge to include a person’s name in the list.
(5) The decision of the Judge of the High Court shall be final.
(6) A copy of the list shall be kept hung up in the office or offices of the subordinate courts and shall be published in the Gazette.
—(1) A subordinate court may order any document produced before it in any proceedings to be impounded.
(2) The document which has been impounded shall not be delivered out of the custody of the court or inspected except on an order signed by a judicial officer.
(3) The court that impounded the document may direct the document to be sent to the Attorney-General, the Commissioner of Stamp Duties or any other officer of the Government.
—(1) Except with the approval of the Chief Justice, a judicial officer —
shall not be capable of —
accepting or taking any other office of emolument; or
carrying on any business either directly or indirectly; and
shall not accept any fees of office, perquisites, emoluments or advantages, other than his salary and allowances.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), a judicial officer may, with the approval of the Chief Justice —
be appointed to any commission of inquiry, committee of inquiry or other judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative tribunal, or hold any office in any institution or society for charitable purposes or for the advancement or encouragement of art, science, education or other knowledge; and
receive an allowance or other honorarium in respect of that appointment or office.
65. No judicial officer shall, except with the approval of the Chief Justice and with the consent of the parties, investigate, try or commit for trial any proceedings to which he is a party or in which he is personally interested.
66. No officer of the subordinate courts having any duty to perform in connection with the sale of any property under any written law shall, directly or indirectly, purchase or bid for the property.
—(1) Without prejudice to any written law and rules governing the conduct and discipline of public officers, if any officer of a subordinate court is charged —
with extortion or misconduct while acting under colour of the process of the court; or
with not duly paying or accounting for any money levied by him under the authority of this Act or Rules of Court,
it shall be lawful for a District Judge nominated by the Chief District Judge to inquire into the matter in a summary manner.
(2) For the purpose of any such inquiry, the District Judge may summon and enforce the attendance of all necessary parties in the like manner as the attendance of witnesses in any case may be enforced.
(3) On any such inquiry, the District Judge may make such order as he thinks just for the repayment of the money extorted or the due payment of the money levied, and for the payment of damages and costs, and also, if he thinks fit, may impose such fine upon the officer, not exceeding $100 for each offence, as appears to him to be adequate.
(4) If it is found by a District Judge that any officer, while employed in carrying out his duties under this Act or Rules of Court or in exercising any of the powers thereof, has wilfully and corruptly exacted or accepted any fee or reward, other than such fees as are for the time being allowed under this Act or Rules of Court, that officer shall, in addition to being liable for damages under subsection (3), be incapable of being an officer of the subordinate courts.
(5) An appeal shall lie to the Chief Justice from an order made by the District Judge under this section.
(6) The decision of the Chief Justice shall be final.
—(1) A judicial officer shall not be liable to be sued for any act done by him in the discharge of his judicial duty whether or not within the limits of his jurisdiction, provided that he at the time in good faith believed himself to have jurisdiction to do or order the act complained of.
(2) No officer of a subordinate court charged with the duty of executing any writ, summons, warrant, order, notice or other mandatory process of the subordinate courts shall be liable to be sued for the execution of or attempting to execute such writ, summons, warrant, order, notice or other mandatory process, or in respect of any damage caused to any property in effecting or attempting to effect execution, unless he knowingly acted in excess of the authority conferred upon him by such writ, summons, warrant, order, notice or other mandatory process of the court in question.
(3) An officer of a subordinate court shall not be deemed to have acted knowingly in excess of his authority merely by reason of the existence of a dispute as to the ownership of any property seized under any writ or order of execution.
(4) No judicial officer, officer of a subordinate court or court-appointed mediator shall be liable to be sued for an act done by him for the purposes of any mediation or other alternative dispute resolution process conducted by him in a subordinate court, if the act —
was done in good faith; and
did not involve any fraud or wilful misconduct on his part.
—(1) The Rules Committee appointed under section 80(3) of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Cap. 322) may make Rules of Court regulating and prescribing the procedure and the practice to be followed in the District Courts and the Magistrates’ Courts in the exercise of their civil jurisdiction and any matters incidental to or relating to any such procedure or practice.
(2) The power to make Rules of Court shall extend to all matters of procedure or practice, or matters relating to or concerning the effect or operation in law of any procedure or practice or the enforcement of judgments or orders, in any case within the cognizance of the District Courts and Magistrates’ Courts in the exercise of the civil jurisdiction as to which Rules of Court have been or might lawfully be made for cases within the cognizance of the High Court.
(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsections (1) and (2), the power to make Rules of Court shall extend to —
prescribing the office or offices where process may be issued and business other than the hearing of proceedings transacted;
prescribing the circumstances and procedure by which proceedings may be transferred from one court to another;
prescribing what part of the business which may be transacted and of the jurisdiction and powers which may be exercised by a District Judge or Magistrate in court or in chambers may be transacted or exercised by the registrar (including provisions for and concerning appeals from decisions of the registrar);
directing interest to be paid on debts, including judgment debts, or on sums found due in an administration action, provided that in no case shall any rate of interest exceed 8% per annum unless it has been otherwise agreed between parties;
regulating the issue of judgment debtor summonses for the discovery of a judgment debtor’s property or means and the procedure and practice relating thereto and the making of orders against judgment debtors for the payment, by instalments or otherwise, of sums due under judgments and orders and the enforcement thereof by committal;
requiring any party at whose instance —
any writ of execution;
any order of arrest or committal;
any order of attachment of property; or
any order to bring up a prisoner as a witness,
is issued, to deposit from time to time a sum of money to provide for the expenses of executing the writ or order and of bringing the person to be arrested or the person ordered to be committed before the court or to prison and of his subsistence while in the custody of the bailiff or in prison and of keeping possession of the property attached;
enabling proceedings —
to be commenced in a subordinate court against the estate of a deceased person (whether by the appointment of a person to represent the estate or otherwise) where no grant of probate or letters of administration has been made;
purporting to have been commenced in a subordinate court by or against a person to be treated, if he was dead at their commencement, as having been commenced by or against, as the case may be, his estate whether or not a grant of probate or letters of administration was made before their commencement; and
commenced or treated as commenced in a subordinate court by or against the estate of a deceased person to be maintained (whether by substitution of parties, amendment or otherwise) by or against, as the case may be, a person appointed to represent the estate or, if a grant of probate or letters of administration is or has been made, by or against the personal representatives;
prescribing the manner in which money in a court is to be dealt with and in particular —
prescribing that money in court may be kept at a bank, to be approved by the Accountant-General, in the official name of the registrar;
regulating the manner in which the court’s bank account shall be operated;
requiring the registrar to pay from time to time to the Accountant-General or into the court’s bank account all moneys not required for meeting current demands and to pay to the Accountant-General all sums which have been in the court’s bank account for such period as may be prescribed; and
prescribing the books, registers and accounts required to be kept by the registrar and bailiffs.
(4) All Rules of Court made under this section shall be presented to Parliament as soon as possible after publication in the Gazette.