Registration of Judgments and Orders

The Registration of Judgments Act, Cap. 210 places an obligation on the Registrar of the Supreme Court to keep and maintain an alphabetical register [i.e. a “Register of Judgments”] of the names of all persons against whom a judgment is obtained or confessed in the High Court.

The Act also expressly provides, among other things, that no judgment obtained or confessed in the High Court shall affect any lands, tenements or hereditaments as to purchasers, mortgagees or judgment creditors unless: (a) a memorandum or minute in the form stipulated in the Schedule to the Act is registered with the Registrar of the Supreme Court; and (b) a copy of the memorandum or minute is lodged with the Registrar of Titles.

The memorandum or minute to be registered with the Registrar must contain: (i) the name(s) of the person(s) in whose favour; and (ii) against whom judgment is entered or given; (iii) the date of the judgment; (iv) the amount of the debt, damages, costs or money recovered or secured by the judgment. On receipt of a memorandum or minute in the prescribed form, the Registrar must enter the prescribed particulars in the Register of Judgments kept at the Supreme Court Registry. When the judgment is registered the Registrar must also insert the year and the day of the month when such memorandum or minute is so registered. However, no judgment shall be entered in the Register unless it has been duly stamped under the Stamp Duty Act, Cap. 91.

The registration of a judgment stays in effect for an initial period of 5 years after which it is null and void against the lands, tenements or hereditaments of the judgment debtor vis-a-vis purchasers, mortgagees or judgment creditors. The judgment may, however, be re-registered for successive 5-year periods, upon lodging a fresh memorandum or minute with the Registrar. Such re-registration is sufficient to bind purchasers, mortgagees or judgment creditors, if a memorandum or minute is again lodged and registered with the Registrar within 5 years before the execution of the conveyance, settlement, mortgage, lease or other deed or instrument vesting or transferring the legal or equitable right, title, estate or interest; or within 5 years before the confession or obtaining of a judgment.

Section 33(1) of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, Cap. 117A provides that the High Court may, for the purpose of enforcing a judgment or order of the Court for the payment of money to a person, by order impose on any such land or interest in land of a judgment debtor, a charge for the purpose of securing the payment of any moneys due under the judgment or order.

Section 33(3) of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act declares, among other things, that the Registration of Judgments Act Cap. 210 and the Land Registration Act, Cap. 229 apply in relation to a charging orders under sub-section (1) as they apply in relation to other writs or orders affecting land issued or made for the purpose of enforcing judgments.

Foreign Judgments and Orders: Part 72 of the Supreme Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2008 sets out the procedure for the reciprocal registration and enforcement in Barbados of the judgments of foreign courts and tribunals.

CPR 72.5 stipulates that a register of judgments that are subject of an order granting leave to register a foreign judgment in Barbados pursuant to CPR 72.4 must be kept in the Registry. There must also be included in each such register particulars of any execution on a judgment ordered to be so registered.