District Courts Act 1947

Before its repeal, this Act was administered by: Ministry of Justice
  • repealed
  • District Courts Act 1947: repealed, on 1 January 2018, by section 240 of the District Court Act 2016 (2016 No 49).

Reprint as at 1 January 2018

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

District Courts Act 1947

Public Act
1947 No 16
Date of assent
24 October 1947
see section 1(2)

District Courts Act 1947: repealed, on 1 January 2018, by section 240 of the District Court Act 2016 (2016 No 49).


Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice.


Title [Repealed]
1Short Title and commencement [Repealed]
2Interpretation [Repealed]
3Courts constituted [Repealed]
4Appointment of places for holding of courts [Repealed]
4ASittings of court at other places [Repealed]
4BDisputes Tribunals [Repealed]
5Appointment and qualifications [Repealed]
5AAJudges act on full-time basis but may be authorised to act part-time [Repealed]
5AChief District Court Judge [Repealed]
5BAppointment of jury trial Judges [Repealed]
6Salaries and allowances [Repealed]
7Tenure of office [Repealed]
8Ex officio functions of Judges [Repealed]
9Assignment and rostering of District Court Judges [Repealed]
10Acting Judges [Repealed]
10ARetired Judges may act [Repealed]
11Jurisdiction of Judge in Chatham Islands [Repealed]
11AAppointment of Community Magistrates [Repealed]
11BRight to hold other office and to engage in other employment [Repealed]
11CFunctions and powers of Community Magistrates [Repealed]
11CANo proceeding against Community Magistrate unless he or she acted without jurisdiction [Repealed]
11CBNo proceeding against Community Magistrate to be commenced in District Court [Repealed]
11CCOnus of proof [Repealed]
11CDPlaintiff may be ordered to give security for costs [Repealed]
11CEIndemnity to Community Magistrate [Repealed]
11DChief Community Magistrate [Repealed]
11EFunctions of Chief Community Magistrate [Repealed]
11FTenure of office [Repealed]
11GRemuneration and allowances of Community Magistrates [Repealed]
11HRetired Community Magistrates [Repealed]
12Appointment of Registrar [Repealed]
13Record of proceedings to be kept by Registrar [Repealed]
14Deputy Registrars [Repealed]
15Appointment of bailiffs [Repealed]
16Deputy bailiffs [Repealed]
17Powers and duties of bailiffs [Repealed]
17ASections 121, 128, and 129 of Search and Surveillance Act 2012 inapplicable to bailiffs [Repealed]
18Penalty for assaulting officers [Repealed]
19Misconduct of officers [Repealed]
20Officers of court not to act as solicitors therein [Repealed]
21Place of sittings [Repealed]
22Times of sittings [Repealed]
23Adjourned sittings [Repealed]
29General jurisdiction in respect of proceedings [Repealed]
30Money recoverable by statute [Repealed]
31Extending jurisdiction in actions for recovery of land [Repealed]
32Landlord’s right where rent is in arrear or premises deserted [Repealed]
33Jurisdiction as to building societies [Repealed]
34Equity jurisdiction [Repealed]
35Jurisdiction where title in question [Repealed]
36Abandonment of part of claim to give court jurisdiction [Repealed]
37Extension of jurisdiction in admiralty by agreement between the parties [Repealed]
38Division of cause of action not allowed [Repealed]
39Proceedings against absent defendant [Repealed]
40Persons who exercise jurisdiction of court [Repealed]
41General ancillary jurisdiction [Repealed]
42Ancillary powers of Judge [Repealed]
42AJurisdiction exclusive of interest awarded [Repealed]
43Transfer to High Court of proceeding within jurisdiction [Repealed]
44Transfer of proceedings beyond jurisdiction [Repealed]
45Transfer of proceedings where there is a counterclaim [Repealed]
45ARemoval of summary judgment application from District Court to High Court [Repealed]
45BRemoval of question of law into High Court [Repealed]
46Transfer of proceeding from High Court to District Court [Repealed]
47Procedure on transfer of proceeding from High Court to District Court [Repealed]
48Costs in cases transferred or removed [Repealed]
49Trustees, executors, and administrators [Repealed]
50Amount of wages, etc, for which minor may sue [Repealed]
51Persons jointly liable [Repealed]
52Bankruptcy of plaintiff [Repealed]
53Witness entitled to expenses [Repealed]
54Penalty for neglecting witness summons [Repealed]
55Examination of witnesses and service of process abroad [Repealed]
56Persons who may take affidavits, etc [Repealed]
56APowers of court exercisable before commencement of proceeding [Repealed]
56BPower of court to order particular discovery against non-party after proceeding commenced [Repealed]
57Right of audience [Repealed]
58Trial by Judge [Repealed]
59Equity and good conscience [Repealed]
60Judge to take notes [Repealed]
61Power of Judge to refer to arbitration [Repealed]
62Power of Judge to refer to Registrar or referee [Repealed]
62AReference by consent [Repealed]
62BPower of court to award interest on debts and damages [Repealed]
63Finality of judgments and orders [Repealed]
64Want of form [Repealed]
65Payment of judgments and orders [Repealed]
65AInterest on judgment debts [Repealed]
66Removal of judgment of District Court into High Court [Repealed]
67Proceeding in High Court on judgment or order of District Court [Repealed]
68Removal of judgment or order of High Court into District Court [Repealed]
69Removal of judgment from one court to another [Repealed]
70Removal of judgment of abolished court [Repealed]
70AApplication of rules [Repealed]
71Interpretation [Repealed]
71ARight to appeal [Repealed]
72General right of appeal [Repealed]
73Agreements that decision would be binding [Repealed]
74Security for appeal [Repealed]
75Appeals to be by way of rehearing [Repealed]
76Powers of High Court on appeal [Repealed]
77Repayment of judgment sum and interest [Repealed]
78Enforcement proceedings [Repealed]
78ARight of appeal in respect of contempt of court [Repealed]
79Nature of proceedings for enforcement of judgment [Repealed]
79AJudgment may be enforced in any District Court [Repealed]
80Enforcement of judgments more than 6 years old [Repealed]
81Enforcement of order for payment by instalments [Repealed]
82Proceedings on cross-judgments [Repealed]
83Power to stay proceedings for enforcement [Repealed]
84Stay of proceedings on appeal [Repealed]
84AFiling of financial statement [Repealed]
84BNotice to complete financial statement [Repealed]
84CCourt to request information about judgment debtor’s means [Repealed]
84DCourt may order hearing if information about judgment debtor’s means not provided, etc [Repealed]
84EApplication for financial assessment hearing [Repealed]
84EAPower to arrest judgment debtor or officer [Repealed]
84EBFinancial assessment hearing [Repealed]
84ECOrders by court following filing of financial statement, etc [Repealed]
84FInterpretation [Repealed]
84GAttachment orders [Repealed]
84HContent of attachment orders [Repealed]
84IEffect of attachment orders [Repealed]
84JLiability of employer [Repealed]
84KWrongful treatment of employee [Repealed]
84LExtent to which attachment orders bind the Crown [Repealed]
84MVariation, suspension, and discharge of attachment orders [Repealed]
84NReview of Registrar’s decision [Repealed]
84OContempt procedures [Repealed]
84OAProcess for dealing with application for contempt procedures [Repealed]
84OBWarrant to arrest may be issued if judgment debtor cannot be served or fails to appear at hearing [Repealed]
84PApplication of Part 1 of Legal Services Act 1991 [Repealed]
84QJudgment debtor doing community work to be discharged on payment [Repealed]
85Warrant to seize property [Repealed]
85AImmobilisation of motor vehicles [Repealed]
86Disposal of bills of exchange, etc, seized [Repealed]
87Penalty for rescue of goods seized [Repealed]
88Period to elapse before sale [Repealed]
89Sale of goods by public auction unless otherwise ordered [Repealed]
90Protection of bailiff selling goods under execution without notice of claim by third party [Repealed]
91Procedure when goods seized are secured under bill of sale [Repealed]
91APersonal property securities register to be checked [Repealed]
92Priority of High Court and District Court executions [Repealed]
93Sale of goods where claim made thereto [Repealed]
94Third party claim process [Repealed]
95Claims for rent where goods seized under execution [Repealed]
96Garnishee proceedings [Repealed]
96ACharging orders [Repealed]
97Issue and execution of orders or warrants of committal [Repealed]
98Power of Judge to order discharge [Repealed]
99Warrant for the recovery of land [Repealed]
100Irregularity in execution of warrant can only be sued for as special damage [Repealed]
101Person illegally obtaining warrant liable for trespass [Repealed]
102Execution of warrant may be stayed on giving bond [Repealed]
103Warrant for the recovery of chattels [Repealed]
104Further proceedings if chattels not recovered [Repealed]
105Neglect by bailiffs [Repealed]
106Irregularity in executing warrants [Repealed]
107Actions against bailiffs acting under warrants [Repealed]
108Action to be brought within 6 months, and 1 month’s notice to be given [Repealed]
108AService of documents under this Part [Repealed]
108BService provisions modified in special cases [Repealed]
109Absconding debtors may be held to bail [Repealed]
110Successful plaintiff entitled to execution, successful defendant entitled to compensation [Repealed]
111Interpleader [Repealed]
112Penalty for contempt of court [Repealed]
113Payment and recovery of fees [Repealed]
114Enforcement of fines [Repealed]
115Fines and fees to be paid to Crown Bank Account [Repealed]
116Prescribed documents to be sealed [Repealed]
116AProof of service of documents [Repealed]
117Subtenant to give notice of proceeding to subtenant’s immediate landlord [Repealed]
118Actions on lost instruments [Repealed]
119Immunity of Judges [Repealed]
120No privilege to solicitors [Repealed]
121Constables, etc, to assist [Repealed]
122District Courts Rules [Repealed]
123Regulations [Repealed]
123AAChief executive of Ministry of Justice may approve forms [Repealed]
123AReviews of decisions of Registrars concerning fees [Repealed]
124Application of Act [Repealed]
125Repeals and savings [Repealed]
Reprint notes
Title [Repealed]

Title: repealed, on 1 March 2017, by section 240(1) of the District Court Act 2016 (2016 No 49).