Types of writ iconTypes of writ

There are several different types of writs that may be used by a High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) to execute a judgment. The one most commonly used is the writ of fi fa, but there are other writs of execution for different scenarios.

Writ of control

Under the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, the writ of fieri facias has been renamed as the writ of control, with effect from 6th April 2014. The High Court writ of control is comparable to a warrant of execution in the County Court. It empowers an HCEO to take control of (seize) goods belonging to a judgment debtor in order that the judgment debt is settled, either by way of payment or sale of the goods taken into control.

Writ of fieri facias

Until the 6th April 2014, the writ of control is called a writ of fieri facias, also know as a writ of fi fa.

Writ of delivery

The writ of delivery is most commonly used by companies to recover specific goods that have not been fully paid for and the defendant is in arrears, for example finance companies. The writ of delivery is appropriate where the claimant wants to recover the goods, rather than receive payment for them. There are two types of the writ of delivery – Form 64, for goods, damages and costs, and Form 65 for goods or value (of the goods), damages and costs. The writ can also be used in matters of Intellectual Property to seize counterfeits.

If the claimant wants the actual goods back, rather than an equivalent monetary payment, then the HCEO will ask for a writ of specific delivery. This type of writ is also used when the claimant is looking to recover documents. If the claimant is happy to accept money instead, then a standard writ of delivery is used.

Writ of possession

This is a writ of possession issued by the High Court after a judgment or order for possession of either property or land has been awarded. The CCJ or order can only be passed to the High Court for enforcement if the occupiers are deemed trespassers or special provision is granted by the issuing County Court. An example would be the eviction of travellers or squatters from land or a property. If the judgment or order is issued in the High Court, then it must be enforced by an HCEO and may be against persons known or unknown.

These are often combined with monetary orders allowing enforcement and the seizure of goods in the same manner as with a writ of control. A common example would be for the recovery of rent. Applying for a combined writ will save time as well as allowing the HCEO to enforce both simultaneously.

Writ of restitution

This writ is used if, after the successful eviction of trespassers from a property or land under a writ of possession, the trespassers re-enter that property or land again. This writ will allow the HCEO to again enforce and remove the trespassers accordingly.

Writ of sequestration

If the debtor fails to pay within the specified time, the judgment creditor may be entitled to a writ of sequestration to obtain payment. The original order requiring payment of the judgment debt must warn the debtor that failure to pay the sum set out in the order may be enforced by writs of sequestration. The original order must be served personally and contain the penal notice.