CHARGING is a means by which a judgment creditor may enforce payment of his debt out of property belonging to the debtor which is not available for the ordinary processes of execution. Where any person, against whom there is in force a judgment of the high Court, has any Government stock, funds, or annuities, or any stock or shares of and in any public company in England, or is interested in the interest or dividends thereof, a judge of the High Court may order such stock, &c., or interest and dividends, to be charged with payment of the amount due on the judgment. It does not matter whether the stock, &c., is standing in the debtor's name in his own right, or whether it is in the name of a trustee on his behalf, or of the Paymaster-General ; it is sufficient if it is in fact the property, in possession, reversion, or contingent, of the debtor. After the creditor has obtained the charging order he stands in the same position, and has the same rights and remedies in respect to the stock, &c., as if the debtor himself had created the charge, except for the postponement of their en forcement, as will be presently referred to.
The application for a charging order may be made by the creditor without notice thereof to the debtor ; this is to prevent the debtor disposing of the property in anticipation of the order and with a view to defeat the efforts of the creditor. Upon this application, an order nisi is made, which should be served upon the debtor, and notice thereof given to the Bank of England or company whose stocks or shares are the object of it. The Bank of England, or the company, as the case may be, cannot then permit a transfer of the stocks or shares. Upon a day fixed by the Court, the debtor will be required to appear and show cause why the order nisi shou.d not be made absolute. If he does show good cause, the order nisi will be discharged, and the stocks or shares released ; but if he does not, the order will be made absolute and final. The creditor having thus got the charging order must wait six months before he can proceed to realise the shares, and this he can do only by a separate action. Ile can, how eve', in the meanwhile obtain a STOP-ORDEI (q.v.) upon any dividends which may become due.
A solicitor may obtain a charge for his taxed costs upon any property which has been recovered or preserved through his instrumentality. The costs must be in respect of, or incidental to, the action in which the property has been so recovered or preserved, and the order must be made by the judge who has cognisance of the action.
Partners.—Where a creditor obtains judgment against a person who is a member of a partnership firm, he may obtain a charging order against that person's interest in the partnership property. The judgment where this is needed would be one against the partner in his private capacity, and•not as a partner. See EXECUTION; ATTACHMENT; DISTRINGAS.
is the name given to an agreement whereby the shipowner agrees to place an entire ship, or a part of it, at the disposal of a merchant for the conveyance of goods. The shipowner binds himself thereby to convey the goods to a specified place for a certain sum of money, which the merchant agrees to pay as freight for their carriage. The mer chant is under such circumstances called the charterer; the goods, the subject of the contract, are known as a cargo. Generally speaking, the ship con tinues to remain in the possession and under the control of its owner, the charterer merely acquiring a right to place his goods in the vessel and to have them conveyed according to the terms of the charter-party. A charter party may, however, amount to a complete letting of the ship, so as to make the ship in effect the exclusive vessel of the charterer, and to oust the owner from all power and control thereover. The charter-party itself must contain the particular terms under which the ship is let. It is, however, not unusual to have bills of lading as well as a charter-party, the object of which is to provide the charterer with a more available means of dealing with his cargo during the course of its conveyance. Where such is the case, and the charter-party itself refers to the bills of lading, both the charter-party and the bills of lading may be read together in order to discover the exact terms of the contract between the shipowner and the charterer. A charter-party should be stamped 6d.; this duty may be denoted by an adhesive stamp, which should be cancelled by the person whose last execution makes the contract binding. Should it not be stamped before execution, a stamp will be impressed thereon by the Inland Revenue authorities within a month from the date of execution, but penalties may be required. A charter-party may be by deed, but this is -not necessary ; if it is by deed executed by the master of the ship, and not by the owners, who are not parties to it, the latter cannot bring an action upon it, though they would be liable to an action by the charterers for any breach of the duties generally as shipowners, and not inconsistent with the terms of the charter party.