I read with interest District Judge Peter Glover’s article on the enforcement of family court money orders. I was originally responsible for the notes in the Family Court Practice to part 33 of the Family Procedure Rules, to which Judge Glover takes exception.

It is now clear, on High Court authority, that if the receiving party chooses to apply under FPR 33.3(2)(b) for ‘such means of enforcement as the court may consider appropriate’, the court can without further ado make a final third-party debt order without requiring the use of N349, and indeed without making an interim order – Kaur v Randhawa [2015] EWHC 1592 (Fam), a decision of Mostyn J which will be noted in the next edition of the Red Book.

I suggest that this bears out the view that the use of the normally prescribed forms is not mandatory if the receiving party is proceeding under FPR 33.3(2)(b), and it appears that in the light of Kaur Judge Glover is not correct to assert that ‘if the judge considers that enforcement by a TPDO… is appropriate, it must be necessary for the applicant to apply on the mandated form and pay the appropriate fee’.

Judge Glover suggests that we overlook FPR 33.23. I protest that we do nothing of the sort, as is apparent from the fact that the 2015 Red Book includes separate procedural guides for seeking information from a debtor (C12 at p145) and for applying under FPR 33.3(2)(b) (C11 at p143). If an applicant wishes to obtain information from the debtor and consider it at his leisure, he may indeed apply in family proceedings under CPR part 71, as slightly modified by FPR 33.23.

But if he applies under FPR 33.3(2)(b), the only parts of part 71 which will apply as if the application had been made under rule 71.2 are CPR 71.2(6) and 71.2(7). While (having spent appreciable time trying to annotate it) I would be the first to agree with Judge Glover that the drafting of part 33 could be improved, his reading of it appears to deprive FPR 33.3(3) of any meaning and, I respectfully suggest, cannot be correct.

I agree that it would be helpful for the rule committee to clarify this issue before a litigant from Dartford, who proclaims himself as keen to pay his liabilities as was Mr Okonkwo (Broomleigh HA v Okonkwo [2010] EWCA Civ 1113), takes up the time of the Court of Appeal to consider whether a suspended committal order issued by one of Judge Glover’s colleagues on the Circuit Bench, purportedly under CPR 71.8, is in fact legitimate or made without jurisdiction.

District Judge Neil Hickman, Milton Keynes County Court Hearing Centre