CHAPTER 53
COURT FEES (SUPREME COURT) AND COSTS ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

2. Definitions.

PART I

Fees to be taken

3. Fees to be taken.

4. Power to alter or add to Schedule.

PART II

Taxation of costs

5. Registrar to be taxing master.

6. Fees to be allowed on taxation.

7. Discretionary power of court as regards costs.

8. Taxation of bill of Costs; When judgement creditor may apply.

9. When an attorney may apply.

10. Application to tax bill.

11. Taxing Master to fix date for taxation.

12. When taxing master may proceed ex-parte.

13. Procedure on taxation.

14. Costs of taxation when one-sixth of bill disallowed.

15. Excessive number of witnesses, costs may be disallowed.

16. Review of taxation by Judge.

17. Taxation of agreements between attorneys and clients.

18. Agreement to exclude any further claim for costs.

19. Void agreements.

20. Change of Attorney, taxation of agreement.

21. Costs of the Republic.

22. Chief Justice may frame further schedules and rules.

FIRST SCHEDULE

SECOND SCHEDULE

8 of 1914,

6 of 1921,

3 of 1959,

17 of 1969,

23 of 1976.

SI 59 of 1975,

95 of 1975,

72 of 1976,

7 of 1980,

37 of 1990,

38 of 1990,

71 of 1997,

9 of 2009,

16 of 2014.

[Date of commencement: 7th March 1964]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Court Fees (Supreme Court) and Costs Act.

2. Definitions.

In this Act unless the context otherwise requires—

“Registrar” means the Registrar of the Supreme Court, and includes the Assistant Registrar in the absence of the Registrar;

“cause” shall include any action, suit or other original proceedings in the Supreme Court between a plaintiff and a defendant;

“matter” shall include every proceeding in the Supreme Court not in a cause;

“counsel” includes any barrister-at-law, attorney or advocate whose name is on the roll of members of the legal profession admitted to practice in Seychelles;

“attorney” means an attorney-at-law and includes a barrister or advocate when acting as an attorney-at-law;

“judgement creditor” means a party to a cause or matter in whose favour a judgement or order of the court has been given;

“judgement debtor” means a party to a cause or matter against whom a judgement or order of the court has been given.

PART I

Fees to be taken

3. Fees to be taken.

The several fees specified in the first schedule hereto (including *usher’s fees) shall be payable in the office of the Registrar on proceedings in the Supreme Court, or before a Judge in chambers or the president of the family council as the case may be. A table of the aforesaid fees shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the Court House and in the office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court, and such fees shall be paid in the first instance by the party on whose behalf such proceeding is to be taken, on or before such proceeding.

[*See section 23(3) of the Courts Act.]

4. Power to alter or add to Schedule.

It shall be lawful for the Chief Justice, subject to the approval of the Minister responsible for finance, from time to time to alter, amend or add to the fees contained in the said schedule.

PART II

Taxation of costs

5. Registrar to be taxing master.

The Registrar shall be the taxing master and shall tax in manner hereinafter provided by this Act, all bills of costs—

(a) between party and party in a cause or matter;

(b) between attorney and client for work done in a cause or matter;

(c) between attorney and client for work done other than in a cause or matter; and

(d) counsel’s fees.

6. Fees to be allowed on taxation.

Counsel’s fees and attorneys’ bills of costs shall, subject to the provisions of section 17, be taxed in accordance with the provisions of this Act and of the second schedule hereto and no counsel, attorney or party shall be entitled to recover any larger sum by way of fees or costs than that allowed on taxation except, that in the case of an agreement enforceable under the provisions of section 17, an attorney shall be entitled to recover from a person liable thereunder the amount payable by that person under the terms thereof adjusted where necessary pursuant to review under subsections (3) and (4) of section 17.

7. Discretionary power of court as regards costs.

Nothing in this Act shall detract from the discretionary power of the court to grant or disallow costs in causes or matters or to grant costs only on the amount awarded by the judgement of the court, or to apportion the costs as the court may deem fit.

8. Taxation of bill of Costs; When judgement creditor may apply.

A judgement creditor may apply to the taxing master to have his bill of costs taxed, if the judgement debtor fail to pay the amount of such bill within twenty four hours after due delivery of the bill and demand for payment made, unless the judgement debtor has admitted in writing owing the amount of such bill.

9. When an attorney may apply.

An attorney who has done work for a client in a cause or matter or otherwise may apply to the taxing master to have his bills of costs for such work taxed, if the client fail to pay the amount of such bill within twenty four hours after due delivery of the bill and demand for payment made; and except as provided in section 17 no attorney shall sue a client for the recovery of his costs until after his bill of costs has been taxed.

10. Application to tax bill.

Every application to tax a bill of costs shall be in writing signed by the applicant or his attorney, if any and shall be accompanied by one copy of the bill to be taxed and a certified copy of the letter of demand. Such application shall be brought by the applicant or his attorney to the taxing master who must satisfy himself that service of the bill and letter of demand was duly made. In every bill of costs the professional charges shall be entered in a separate column from the disbursements and every column shall be cast before the bill is brought for taxation.

11. Taxing Master to fix date for taxation.

The taxing master on receipt of such application shall fix a date and time for the taxation and shall give a note thereof to the applicant and shall notify the adverse party in writing by a registered letter sent through the post, or in such other manner as the taxing master shall direct, of the time and date fixed for the taxation:

Provided that it shall not be necessary for the taxing master to give such notice as aforesaid, when the bill to be taxed is for work done in a cause or matter and the adverse party has not appeared at the hearing of such cause or matter.

12. When taxing master may proceed ex-parte.

If either the applicant for the taxation or the adverse party fail to attend before the taxing master at the time fixed for the taxation, after due notice thereof and without sufficient excuse, the taxing master may tax the bill ex-parte.

13. Procedure on taxation.

The taxing master shall retain one copy of every bill of costs brought to him for taxation, and, if the taxation is for work done in a cause or matter, he shall attach such copy to the record of the case. He shall strike out all items disallowed and, if less than the amount of any item claimed is allowed he shall note on the bill the difference not allowed; he shall certify at the foot of the bill over his signature the total amount allowed and the date of taxation. The taxing master shall not allow any claims for disbursements unless receipts for the amounts disbursed are produced to him, or, if it be impossible or highly inconvenient to obtain receipts, unless he is satisfied by affidavit or otherwise that the disbursements have been made, and in every case that such disbursements were necessary.

14. Costs of taxation when one-sixth of bill disallowed.

If a bill of costs when taxed be less by a sixth part than the bill delivered, then the judgement creditor or the attorney by whom the application to tax the bill was made, shall not be allowed the costs of the taxation.

15. Excessive number of witnesses, costs may be disallowed.

If the taxing master be of opinion that more witnesses have been summoned for the purpose of proving any particular fact or facts than the circumstances of the case required, he may disallow the costs of such witnesses.

16. Review of taxation by Judge.

Any party to a cause or matter and any attorney or client who is dissatisfied with the taxation of the taxing master may apply by petition to a Judge to review such taxation and the Judge on receipt of such application shall fix a date for reviewing the taxation in his chambers. The Registrar shall give a note of the date and time so fixed to the applicant and shall send to the adverse party or person notice thereof by a registered letter sent through the post, or in such other manner as the Judge may direct. If any party to whom notice has been duly given fail without sufficient excuse to attend at the time fixed by such notice, the Judge may review the taxation in the absence of such party. The Judge after hearing the parties attending shall either confirm the taxation of the taxing master or shall alter it as he may consider fit. The decision of the Judge shall be final and not subject to appeal.

17. Taxation of agreements between attorneys and clients.

(1) Notwithstanding any provision of this Act, an attorney may make an agreement in writing with his client respecting the amount and manner of payment for the whole or any part of any past or future services, fees, charges or disbursements, including counsel’s fees, in respect of work done or to be done by such attorney, either by a gross sum, or by commission or percentage, or by salary or otherwise and either at the same rate as, or at a greater or less rate than, the rate at which he would otherwise be entitled to be remunerated.

(2) No such agreement that provides for remuneration at a rate, or in a manner, which either generally or in respect of any item, is different from that at or in which the attorney would otherwise be entitled to be remunerated, shall be enforceable or upheld on taxation, unless—

(a) it is in writing, dated, and authenticated by signature, mark or other sign by, or on behalf of, the client and any other person liable to make payment thereunder; and

(b) the attorney has lodged an authenticated copy of such agreement in the chambers of the Chief Justice, and, in the case of any agreement in this paragraph hereinafter mentioned, has so lodged such copy within fourteen days of the authentication thereof that is to say any such agreement which concern work done or to be done—

(i) in respect of any cause, matter or proceeding of any kind in any court, whether or not such cause, matter or proceeding is actually commenced; or

(ii) for a minor or an interdicted person; or

(iii) payment for which may fall to be made by a minor or an interdicted person, or out of any moneys (including the proceeds of any litigation) in which a minor or an interdicted person has any interest.

(3) The Chief Justice may of his own motion, and shall upon the petition of any party to any agreement the making of which is authorised by subsection (1) of this section, at any time order that such agreement be reviewed by a Judge and thereupon the provisions of such agreement shall be reviewed by a Judge in the same manner, and in accordance with the same procedure, as a taxation may be reviewed under the provisions of section 16 except that no petition, or further petition, as the case may be, shall be required.

(4) Upon such review, a Judge may—

(a) if of opinion that the agreement is in all respects fair and reasonable having regard to all relevant circumstances, including those existing at the time at which it was made, refuse to review the agreement;

(b) if of opinion that the agreement is in any respect unfair or unreasonable, either vary any part of the agreement in such manner as the Judge may see fit and order the amount payable thereunder to be adjusted accordingly, or declare it to be void, and may order the costs covered thereby to be taxed as if the agreement had never been made.

(5) If the provisions of subsection (2) have been complied with in respect of any agreement referred to in subsection (1), such agreement shall, subject to review as provided for in subsection (3) of this section, be enforceable as if any amount payable in terms thereof (adjusted where necessary pursuant to review in manner aforesaid) were the amount owing under a bill of costs which has been duly taxed in accordance with the provisions of this Act, provided that, if the party sought to be made liable disputes the amount payable, the court before which it is sought to enforce such agreement, shall, if there has been no such review as aforesaid, inform such party of his right to petition for a review and, if such party signifies his intention of so petitioning, afford him a reasonable opportunity for so doing and obtaining a decision on such petition before pronouncing judgement on the claim.

18. Agreement to exclude any further claim for costs.

Such an agreement shall be deemed to exclude any further claim of the attorney beyond the terms of the agreement in respect of any services, fees, charges or disbursements in relation to the conduct and completion of the work in reference to which the agreement is made, unless any such services, fees, charges or disbursements are expressly excepted by the agreement.

19. Void agreements.

Any provisions or conditions in any such agreement with respect to any purchase by an attorney of the interest, or any part of the interest of his client in any suit or other contentious proceeding to be brought or maintained or whereby the attorney may be relieved from any responsibility to which he would otherwise be subject as such attorney shall be null and void.

20. Change of Attorney, taxation of agreement.

If after any agreement as aforesaid shall have been made, the client shall change his attorney before the conclusion of the work to which such agreement shall relate (which he shall be at liberty to do notwithstanding such agreement) the attorney, party to such agreement, shall no longer be entitled to act under such agreement, but he may apply by petition to a Judge in chambers to tax such agreement and upon such taxation, the attorney shall not be deemed entitled to the full amount of the remuneration agreed to be paid to him, unless it shall appear that there has been no default, negligence, improper delay or other conduct on his part affording reasonable ground to the client for such change of attorney, and the Judge shall decide having regard to all the circumstances under which the change of attorney has taken place, how such attorney is entitled to be paid. The decision of the Judge shall be final and not subject to appeal.

21. Costs of the Republic.

(1) The Republic shall be entitled to have and to recover costs and costs may be given and recovered against the Republic in all causes and matters of the Supreme Court, to the like extent and in the same manner as costs may be had and recovered by and against any other party.

(2) Such costs shall include counsel’s fees when the Attorney-General or any barrister has appeared as counsel on behalf of the Republic.

(3) All costs awarded to the Republic may be recovered by the Attorney-General and shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund and form part of revenue of the Republic of Seychelles.

22. Chief Justice may frame further schedules and rules.

The Chief Justice may, with the approval of the Minister responsible for finance, alter, amend or add to the fees contained in the second schedule and may also with the like approval make rules for more effectually carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Part.

FIRST SCHEDULE

[Section 3]

[First sch rep and subs by reg 2 of SI 9 of 2009 w.e.f. 1 November 2008.]

Fees to be taken in the office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court (Civil Side) under section 3.

1. In any case where no fee has been provided under a particular heading, the fee prescribed for the corresponding item under the general heading shall be payable.

2. In addition to the fees hereinafter prescribed, the Court may allow fees to interpreters, costs of conveyance and such other necessary incidental expenses as the circumstances of the case may require.

PART I

GENERAL

1.

Where, on entering plaint, the value of the claim or demand—

 

 

(a) does not exceed R10,000

R750

 

(b) exceeds R10,000 but does not exceed R50,000

Additional 1% on surplus

 

(c) exceeds R50,000

Additional 1/2% on surplus

2.

On filing a petition for divorce or separation where damages are claimed against any co-respondent with item 1

R750

3.

Where an injunction or other judicial relief is sought in damages, an extra fee of

R100

4.

On issuing summons to be served with, plaint, for each party summoned

R30

5.

On issuing writ of execution, or any other writ on the issue of which no separate court fee is payable

R100

6.

On issuing order for attachment, warrant or other on the issue of which no separate court fee is payable

R100

7.

On filing any petition, motion or application originating proceedings on the filing of which no other fee is payable

R375

8.

On filing any other petition, motion or application to be heard before the court on the filing of which no other fee is payable

R185

9.

On filing any petition or application to Judge in Chambers

R100

10.

On filing an ex-parte petition, motion or application not originating from proceedings

R100

11.

On filing petition for unsatisfied judgement

R185

12.

on issue of summon to give personal answers

R60

13.

On issue of summons to judgement debtors

R100

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