Message from Mr Justice Mostyn: Family Procedure Rules – contempt forms

On 30 July 2021, a new form for making a contempt application (external link, opens in a new tab), FC600, was added to the prescribed list of Forms in FPR PD5A.

In addition four further forms for the use of the court in contempt proceedings have been issued. These are:

  • FC601 (Summons to appear at court for directions to be given)
  • FC602 (Warrant to secure attendance at court)
  • FC603 (Order upon determination of proceedings)
  • FC604 (Warrant of Committal)

These new forms support the new FPR Part 37 which came into force on 1 October 2020. That new FPR Part 37 is identical to CPR Part 81. Together, these new Parts provide a uniform process for contempt cases which is simpler and clearer than what went before. The new forms are identical to those supporting CPR Part 81 and have been approved by the Family Procedure Rule Committee.

Four of the current standard orders are covered by these forms, namely:

  • Order 5.1 (Order for Immediate Committal): by FC603
  • Order 5.2 (Suspended Order for Committal): by FC603
  • Order 5.6 (Warrant to Tipstaff and Governor on Committal): by FC604
  • Order 5.7 (Bench Warrant for Arrest): by FC602

Accordingly Orders 5.1, 5.2 and 5.6 are revoked.

Order 5.7 should not be used in committal proceedings but should continue to be used in other proceedings where it is necessary to secure the attendance of a party or a witness by a bench warrant.

The following orders remain in force:

  • Order 5.3: Order for Committal under the Debtors Act 1869
  • Order 5.4: Suspended Order for Committal under the Debtors Act 1869
  • Order 5.5: Order Activating Suspended Order for Committal

Orders 5.3 and 5.4 will only be used in proceedings under the Debtors Act 1869, as at present.

Order 5.5 will be used whenever a suspended committal order is activated, whether in proceedings under the Debtors Act 1869 or in committal proceedings under FPR Part 37, again as at present.

The above changes take effect immediately.

The zip file containing  Volume 1 of the standard orders attached to the announcement of 22 November 2021 (opens in a new tab) reflects the above changes.