What is a Judgement Debt? The applications and implications? What is the effects of the Limitation Act 1953 (Had Masa) on the applications of it?

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asked on Feb 28, 2021 at 22:23
edited on Feb 28, 2021 at 22:46
by   jeff005
What is a Judgement Debt? Where a debt is taken to court, a judgement debt is when a defendant (judgement debtor) has been judged to owe that debt by a court. The judgement creditor  has 12 years to take further action to recover money owed by you.
The Act 254 Limitation Act 1953

It is not always prudent to delay commencing legal proceedings when a contractual dispute exists between the parties. This is due to the existence of what is called limitation period in law. This means there is a defined time period in which one has to begin legal action, and to delay beyond this will lead to being time barred, or more accurately, statute barred as the time periods are imposed by Statute rather than by common law principles.

In Malaysia, the principal statute of limitation is set out in the Limitation Act 1953, which was first enacted as the Limitation Ordinance 1953 (F.M. Ordinance No. 4 of 1953) on 9 February 1953 and is based on the English Limitation Act 1939 which has since been replaced in Britain by the Limitation Act 1980. Section 4 of the Act cautions that nothing therein shall operate as a bar to any action or proceeding unless expressly pleaded.

The Act prescribes different periods of limitations depending on different types of causes of action that arise. For actions relating to torts and contracts generally the period is six years from when the cause accrued, imposed by section 6.

Section 9 of the Act states that where an action is made in respect of land and the recovery thereof, the period of limitation would be twelve years. However this does not apply in delays for an action of specific performance, for example, because the owner would already have equitable title in the land.

It should be noted that generally courts do not have power to enlarge the limitation period when asked but there are circumstances where the limitation period itself is renewable, such as in the instance where debt is acknowledged or part payment is made in respect thereof under section 26 of the Act.

Section 27 further qualifies this however; by stating that such acknowledgment must be in writing. The claimant is required to specifically plead this acknowledgment or else it would be struck out.

Where there has been a fraud or concealment however, the Limitation Act 1953 provides for an exception. Section 29 of the Act states that where an action is based upon the fraud of the defendant or his agent or where any fact relevant to the plaintiff’s cause of action was deliberately concealed or where such an action is based on mistake, the time of six years does not run until the discovery of the fraud, concealment or mistake by the plaintiff.

Finally although the Limitation Act 1953 is the principal statute of limitations within Malaysia, it is indeed not the only statute of limitation in force. Section 3 of the Act provides that the Act is inapplicable where the Government is involved and indeed the Government protects itself by virtue of section 2 of the Public Authorities Protection Act 1948 which reads;
“Where, after the coming into force of this Act, any suit, action, prosecution or other proceeding is commenced within the Federation against any person for any act done in pursuance or execution or intended execution of any written law or of any public duty or authority or in respect of any alleged neglect or default in the execution of any such written law, duty or authority the following provisions shall have effect.
a) the suit, action, prosecution or proceeding shall not lie or be instituted unless it is commenced within thirty-six months next after the ceasing thereof…”

This provision was tested in 1972 when the Government failed to make good some payments in respect of some building contracts. The Government contended that such contracts were made pursuant to a public duty and that the plaintiff’s claim was statute barred with reference to section 2 of the Public Authorities Protection Act 1948. The court opined that non-payment of monies owed was not in pursuance of a public duty and accordingly allowed the claim but the thirty-six month limitation period should never be overlooked

End of Part 1 (to be continued)

Part 2 will be dealing on what next course of actions a Judgement Creditor (JCreditor) can take /initiate after obtaining a Judgement Debt (JDebt).

(The above Article are various extractions from the Internet and is for sharing of information and general knowledge. It is not written by the Author nor be regarded as legal advise).
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answered on Feb 28, 2021 at 22:58
edited Feb 28, 2021 at 23:48
by   jeff005
Notes :

This section of the forum refers to debts litigation and bankruptcy, so the following explanation is in the context with signed contracts.

Personal interpretation of some terms as above.

the cause accrued
This is the cause of action  for the lawsuit. Generally the last date payment of the defaulted repayment due is the start of the limitation period. Repayment refers to the full scheduled amount. Any partial payment (with the objective to delay the lawsuit is fruitless).

debt is acknowledged 
acknowledgment must be in writing
specifically plead this acknowledgment

(a) The act of negotiations by the debtor for a new schedule of repayments and/or discounts, constitute "acknowledgement".

(b) Any small payment like RM100 (part payment) is considered "acknowledgement" and does not delay any lawsuit, instead reset the clock.

Please do not ask Qs relating to the above article until I have finished Part 2. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
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answered on Nov 30, 2021 at 22:05
edited Dec 1, 2021 at 00:44
by   jeff005
Update  : Validity period on Judgment Debt  (12 years).


Limitation of actions of contract and tort and certain other

6. (1) Save as hereinafter provided the following actions shall not
be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which
the cause of action accrued, that is to say—
(a) actions founded on a contract or on tort;
(b) actions to enforce a recognisance;
(c) actions to enforce an award;
(d) actions to recover any sum recoverable by virtue of any
written law other than a penalty or forfeiture or of a sum
by way of penalty or forfeiture.

(2) An action for an account shall not be brought in respect of
any matter which arose more than six years before the commencement
of the action.

(3) An action upon any judgment shall not be brought after the
expiration of twelve years from the date on which the judgment
became enforceable and no arrears of interest in respect of any
judgment debt shall be recovered after the expiration of six years
from the date on which the interest became due.

(4) An action to recover any penalty or forfeiture or sum by
way of penalty or forfeiture recoverable by virtue of any written
law shall not be brought after the expiration of one year from the
date on which the cause of action accrued
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