Administration of Justice (AOJ)
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FAQs
General FAQs: Court Appeal Procedure

What must I do if I am not happy with the Decision of the Court

The law gives every person dissatisfied with the judgment of a Court, the right to appeal to a higher court. For instance, if you are not happy with the judgment or decision of the Magistrates’ Court you may appeal to the High Court for relief.  And if you are not happy with the decision of the High Court you may appeal to the Court of Appeal.

How to lodge an Appeal

Appeals from Magistrates’ Court.

If you are not satisfied with a judgment of a Magistrate, you may within 14 days after sentence, lodge a notice of appeal with the clerk of the magistrate court with a copy to the Registrar. Thereafter prepare Grounds of Appeal and send them to the Registrar with a copy to clerk of the Magistrate’s Court. On receipt of the notice of appeal the Clerk of Court will after payment of the prescribed fees prepare the record of your case and send four (4) copies of the record to the Registrar within four months after receiving the notice of appeal in respect of civil cases. The clerk will send the original notice of appeal in a criminal case to the Registrar within 10 working days of receipt thereof. Parties will thereafter receive their copies of the record of appeal from the Registrar.

Appeals to the Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal hears appeals from the High Court on any decision which involves the interpretation of the constitution, issues of Human rights and others. It also hears appeals directly from Industrial Courts. Appealing to the Court of appeal starts with a notice of appeal which must be sent to the Registrar of the High Court with a copy to the Registrar of the Court of Appeal. The notices must reach the Registrar within 6 weeks of the date of Judgment, Sentence or Order appeal against.  If it is an appeal against a death sentence, the notice must be delivered to the person in charge of the Prison, where the appellant is kept within 14 days after the sentence was passed.

Appeals to the Court of Appeal are “as of right” and “with leave” from the court itself or from the High Court. Appeals “as of right” are automatic and appeals “with leave” require permission from either the High Court or Court of Appeal. In criminal cases appeals originating from the High Court can be made straight to the Court of Appeal.  However, in some cases you need special permission from the High Court to appeal i.e. leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal.  If the High Court refuses to allow you leave to appeal, you can apply to the Court of Appeal for leave to appeal.

Deputy Sheriffs FAQs

Deputy Sheriffs,

Court Builiffs 8.

Messengers of Court

 

INTRODUCTION

In this leaflet we tell you about:

Deputy Sheriffs,Court Bailiffs and Messengers of Court

Their work

What to do when you have a complaint against any one of them

 

WHO ARE DEPUTY SHERIFFS, COURT BAILIFFS AND MESSENGERS OF COURT

 

Deputy Sheriffs, Court Bailiffs and Messengers of Court are Court officers appointed by the Registrar of the High Court in terms ofthe Law as follows:

Deputy Sheriffs are appointed for the High Court Court Bailiffs and Messengers of Court are appointed for the Magistrates Courts

 

WHERE DO I FINDTHEM?

Deputy Sheriffs are private people who operate on their own. Sometimes they are attached to Law firms, Organizations and Government offices eg, Department of Taxes, Attorney General's Chambers. They have offices in cities and towns where they operate. They are appointed to ,0p¢rate within a

district. Their letters of appointment and identity cards must indicate the district in which th ey are -appointéDd_ to.

 

HOW DO I RECOGNIZE TH-EM!

On appointment, a Deputy Sheriff is giyen an ID card containing his/her particulars and photo. He/s-he must display the ID when he/she visits you.

 

All Court Bailiffs/Messengers of Court -— are Civil Servants operating at Magistrates Courts.

 

ARE THEY ALLOWED TO PREPARE SUMMONSES FOR MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC?

Deputy Sheriffs are messengers of Court. They are Court officers who must do work for the courts and the public. ln doing so they must not operate like lawyers. lt is not their duty to prepare sumrnonses on behalf of members of the public.

 

ISA DEPUTY SHERIFF ALLOWEDTO REPRESENTA PERSON IN COURT?

A Deputy Sheriff cannot represent a person in Court as he is not a lawyer. Only lawyers are allowed by law to do that.

 

ARE DEPUTY SHERIFFS DEBT COLLECTORS AS WELL?

Deputy Sheriffs are not appointed to operate debt collection companies. Although they collect debts on behalf of judgement creditors they are not debt collectors in the sense of running debt collection business.They are officers of the Court who will only collect debts pursuant to a judgement of Court.

 

WHO APPOINTS DEBT COLLECTORS

Presently there is no law regulating the appointment of Debt Collectors. Debt Collectors derive their authority from the general functions of their companies.To note is that the office of the Registrar does not appoint debt collectors. lt is also not responsible for their work

 

DUTIES OF DEPUTY SHERIFFS, COURT BAILIFFS AND MESSENGERS OF COURT

The duties of Deputy Sheriffs, Court Bailiffs and Messengers of Courts are to serve Court documents- in both Civil and Criminal cases. Such documents include writs of summons, provisional summons, petitions, applications, writs of arrest, subpoena etc.

They also attach and sell both movable and immovable property according to Law.

 

SERVICE OF COURT DOCUMENTS

They will serve:

(a) on the person who is a party to the case

(b) leave a copy at the place of residence or business with a person

in charge ofthe place A

(b) leave a copy at the place of employment with someone who is

senior to the person to be served A

(d)|eave a copy at the place chosen by theperson for service

(e) if a company is served, delivering a copy with a responsible

employee of the company e.g Manager; Secretary, etc.

(f) in the case of the Magistrates·' Court matters, by registered

post __ A 

(g) service can also be made bya fax machine,te|egraph etc.

 

PROOF OF SERVICE .

Service is proved by a return of service where service was done by a Deputy Sheriff or Court Bailiff. The return of service is prepared by the Deputy Sheriff, Court Bailiff or Messenger of Court and it must show who was served,when service was made and on who it was made.Where service is made by a person who is not holding any of the above offices,service is proved by an affidavit of service.

 

HOW A DEPUTY SHERIFFICOURT BAILIFF AND MESSENGER OF COURT RECOVERS MONEY OWED?

A Deputy Sheriff is given instruction by the party who won the case (Plaintiff) to go and attach the property of the party who lost the case (Defendant). He/she must also hand him a document called a writ of execution. The writ contains the names of the defendant and his addresses. The Deputy Sheriff will then go to the Defendant's house and there:

Demand that he pay the money owing

> If he fails to pay, attach his movable property lil<e,furniture,T\¢

motor vehicles etc. He must not attach beds that he uses or

are used by his children, food, clothes, tools of trade of a

certain value etc.

D lf there is no property available he must search for it.

After attachment the Deputy Sheriff will either remove the property and store it in a safe and secure place or leave them with judgement debtor: if he gives him assurance together with someone reputable that he will produce the property on the day of sale.

He must then advertise the property for sale within I4 days. The sale must be by public auction. The price obtained depends on people who are there to bid. It can be high or low. lf the sale does not raise enough money to pay off the debts, further attachment of movable property of the defendant can be made.

Immovable property is only attached if all movables have been attached and sold or there are no movables or where the court has ordered that it be

attached. The proceeds of sale are distributed to all creditors who brought their claims to the Deputy Sheriff before the sale.The property attached must

belong to the judgement debtor.

 

DEPUTY SHERIFFS CHARGES

Deputy Sheriffs’ charges are regulated by the Rules of the High.

Court. _ln some cases where there is a dispute such charges can be taxed or revised by. the Master. This means that a Deputy Sheriff will prepare a bill of costs for taxation by the Sherifflthe

Registrar:

 

WHERE TO LODGE A COMPLAINT

lf you are not happy with the treatment you get from a Deputy Sheriff you can complain in writing to the Registrar of the High

Court at Lobatse and Francistown at t-he following addresses:

Lobatgog I .FI*a.hCISt0Wh2

The   Court of Botswana   COUIT of Botswana

Private Bag ()()|, Lobatse I ‘ Private BagFI3,Francistown

Tel; 5330396, Fax; 53323 | 7 Tel: 24I2l25, Fax; 24l7025

 

WHAT YOU CAN COMPLAIN ABOUT

You can complain about;

(a) treatment you receive from the Deputy Sheriff

(b) attachment of property that does not belong to you

(c) the manner in which the sale was conducted

(d) fees demanded by the ofhcers _

(e) the manner of advertising I

(f) the distribution of proceeds of sale

 

LODGING A COMPLAINT.

The complaint can be verbal or in writing. It is preferable that it be in writing as it will be Hled for future reference.

 

HOW SOON CAN I GETA RESPONSE!

As soon as the letter or complaint is received, you must get an acknowledgment within 2 days. A full reply will follow within 3-days.

"Together we can build u C0mp¤ssi0nute,just and Curing S0ciety.”

The Guardian Fund FAQs

What happens to the money if it remains unclaimed for a very long time?

Money, which is unclaimed from the guardian fund for 30 years, becomes forfeited to the state and it becomes part of the revenue of Botswana.

 

How often can one apply for the release of money?

There is no set number of times that the request can be made. The request is made on the basis of the needs of the beneficiaries. This could be on monthly basis or every three months to coincide with the school terms. However: we expect guardians to be reasonable in their requests. 

 

What is the procedure for applying for the Money?

You should write a letter to the Master at:

The High Court of Botswana

Private Bag 001, Lobatse,

Or

Francistown High Court

Private Bag Fl3, Francistown

 

How long do I have to wait to receive a response alter application for funds?

As soon as your letter of application is received it will be attended to immediately, it will take at least two days to get a response from the Master’s office.

 

How about the cheque from the Accountant General?

To get your cheque on time for school fees or for whatever expenses you need to apply well in advance so that you give the master’s office time to deal with your application and forward it to the Accountant General for the preparation of a cheque. The Accountant General normally takes about two weeks to prepare a cheque and then send it to the Master.

 

Sometimes there are emergency situations, which require money can I he helped?

Emergency situations will be treated as such. lf the Master is satisfied that the situation warrants a departure from the established practice, he will authorize a faster method of obtaining the funds. The Master may authorize the issuing of hand written cheque. You can then take the letter to the Accountant General for your cheque. The cheque is always made in favor of the legal guardian.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

For further information contact the office of the Master at:

 

Private Bag 001

Lobatse; Tel: 5330396 5330801 Fax: 530639l

 

Private Bag F13

Tel: 2412125

Fax: 2417025

 

 

Complaints

In this section we explain what you must do if you are not happy with the service you have received from Court Officers or with any procedural steps they have taken in your case. We will take opportunity following receipt of your complaint to put things

right.

 

Please be advised that you cannot use this procedure to complain against:

  • The decision of the court in your case; or
  • The behavior of the judge or Magistrate during the hearing of your case.

 

You further cannot use this procedure to complain about your lawyer.

 

If you do not agree with the decision of the Court or judge or Magistrate you may have to appeal to a higher court against that decision. If you do not know the procedure you may ask a member of staff in any of the court registries for assistance.

Otherwise you must contact a lawyer for help.

 

If you want to complain about a lawyer you can contact the Law Society of Botswana in writing at;

 

The Law Society of Botswana

P O Box 50889,Gaborone

Tel: 3900200

Unit 5, Ist Floor, Chobe House

Kagiso Mall,Broadhurst

Gaborone

 

If you are complaining against a Magistrate, write to:

The Registrar of the High Court,

Private Bag 001, Lobatse

 

Finally if you wish to complain about a judge write to the

 

Honourable Chief justice,

Private Bag 001,Lobatse

 

How to make a complaint

When you have a complaint that you want to make, you can write to the Registrar of the High Court or the Magistrate in charge of station. You can get details of the court you want to write to from the nearest court.

 

 

Your letter of complaint must contain the following information:

  • Your Name and address
  • Your complaint
  • Details of your case including the case number, as much relevant information about your complaint as would be necessary to assist e.g., date etc. You may also suggest to us what you want corrected.

 

Your complaint can also be made by:

  • phone
  • Fax
  • E-mail

What should happen on receipt of the complaint?

On receipt of a complaint, the officer responsible will investigate it. After investigation, you  will receive a full reply.

 

The reply will:

  • Set out your complaint in full so that you can be sure we
  • understood it;
  • Indicate whether or not the Court official made a mistake; and
  • Give reasons for the decision.

If after investigation, it is discovered that the official made a mistake, you will receive an apology from the Head of the Section or Registry, with an explanation of what will be done to avoid a similar mistake from happening again.

 

What if I am not satisfied with the reply?

Where you are not satisfied with the reply of the head of Section or Registry, you may appeal to the Deputy Registrar in charge of that Division or if the reply was from the Deputy Registrar, to the Registrar: In your appeal, mention that you are not happy with the response of the Section or Registry head. Ultimately, you can appeal to the Honourable Chief justice if the Registrar's response does not satisfy you.

 

Civil servants are now required to wear identity cards. If you have noted the name of the officer who was helping you, state the name in your complaint.

 

In the case of matters from Magistrates' Court complaints should be sent to the Clerk of Court in charge of the station or to the Magistrate. Addresses of each court can be found in the telephone directory in the blue pages, under Government departments, Administration of justice.

 

How soon can I get a reply?

If your complaint was to the Section head/or Registry head, you will get your reply within 14 days.

 

If the complaint is to the Deputy Registrar; you should get an acknowledgement within 7 days and a full reply in 14 days. Should we for any reason fail to meet these targets, we will write to let you know why and tell you when to expect a full reply.

 

 

 

Can I complain to anyone else?

 

We do our best to handle your complaint properly and fairly. However; if you are not satisfied with the way we dealt with it, you can approach the Ombudsman at:

 

Click on the link given below for the address of the Office of the Ombudsman  

Contact the Office of Ombudsman

 

Our Address is:

Lobatse

 

The High Court of Botswana

Private Bag 001 , Lobatse

Tel: 5330396/7 Fax: 5306390/5332317

 

 

Francistown

 

Private Bag F I 3, Francistown

Tel: 2412125   Fax: 2417025

 

 

 

Your letter of complaint must contain the following information:

  • Your Name and address
  • Your complaint
  • Details ofyour case including the case number, as much relevant information about your complaint as would be necessary to assist e.g., date etc. You may also suggest to us what you want corrected.

 

Your complaint can also be made by:

  • phone
  • Fax
  • E-mail 

 

What should happen on receipt of the complaint?

On receipt of a complaint, the officer responsible will investigate it.

After investigation, you will receive a full reply.

 

The reply will:

 

  • Set out your complaint in full so that you can be sure we understood it;
  • Indicate whether or not the Court official made a mistake; and
  • Give reasons for the decision.

 

If after investigation, it is discovered that the official made a mistake, you will receive an apology from the Head of the Section or Registry, with an explanation of what will be done to avoid a. similar mistake from happening again.

 

What if I am not satisfied with the reply?

 

Where you are not satisfied with the reply of the head of Section or Registry, you may appeal to the Deputy Registrar in charge of that Division or if the reply was from the Deputy Registrar, to the Registrar: In your appeal, mention that you are not happy with the response of the Section or Registry head. Ultimately, you can appeal to the honourable Chief justice if the Registrar's response does not satisfy you.

 

Civil servants are now required to wear identity cards. If you have noted the name of the officer who was helping you, state the name in your complaint.

 

In the case of matters from Magistrates' Court complaints should

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