Fieri facias

Fieri facias

In English law, "fieri facias", usually abbreviated "fi. fa." (Latin "that you cause to be made") is a writ of execution issued in the High Court after judgment obtained in a legal action for debt or damages.

It is addressed to the sheriff or High Court Enforcement Officer, and commands him to make good the amount out of the goods of the person against whom judgment has been obtained.

As of March 2008 "fi. fa." can be sought on judgment debts in excess of £600. Whilst "fi. fa." can be used to enforce judgments obtained in the County Court, judgment debts of less than £5,000 are usually enforced by way of a warrant of execution.

Hong Kong statute ( High Court Ordinance (Cap 4) s 21D(1)) provides that money and banknotes, Government stock, bonds and other securities for money are amenable to attachment and sale though fieri facias. But with reference to the English case Alleyne v Darcy (1855) 5 I Ch R 56, securities for money do not include life insurance policies.

This writ was once so common that "fieri facias" became a slang term for a sheriff, with a pun on the "fiery [ruddy] face" of habitual drunkenness, or for anyone with a ruddy complexion.

Typically, a judgment creditor will record a "fi. fa." with the land records of the locality in which the debtor is believed to own real property. Even though the sheriff may not actually foreclose on the property, the recorded "fi. fa." will act as an encumbrance on the title of the property, which can prevent the property from being sold or refinanced without satisfying the related judgment.

The writ of "fieri facias" was renamed a writ of control when the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, s.62 came into force.

External links

* [ Lect Law Library]
* [ A Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue]


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  • fieri facias — fi·e·ri fa·ci·as / fī ə rē fā shē əs, sē ; fē e rē fä kē ˌäs/ n [Medieval Latin, literally, may you cause it to be done, from words used in the writ, typically de terris et cattalis fieri facias may you raise from the lands and chattels (of the… …   Law dictionary

  • fieri facias — ➔ writ of fieri facias …   Financial and business terms

  • Fieri facias — Fi e*ri fa ci*as [L., cause it to be done.] (Law) A judicial writ that lies for one who has recovered in debt or damages, commanding the sheriff that he cause to be made of the goods, chattels, or real estate of the defendant, the sum claimed.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fieri facias — writ concerning a sum awarded in judgment (often requiring seizure and sale of property for debt), Latin, lit. cause it to be done, the first words of the writ …   Etymology dictionary

  • fieri facias — /fuy euh ruy fay shee as /, Law. a writ commanding a sheriff to levy and sell as much of a debtor s property as is necessary to satisfy a creditor s claim against the debtor. Abbr.: FI. FA., fi. fa. [1425 75; late ME < L: lit., have it made,… …   Universalium

  • fieri facias — noun Etymology: Latin, cause (it) to be done Date: 15th century a writ authorizing the sheriff to obtain satisfaction of a judgment in debt or damages from the goods and chattels of the defendant …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • fieri facias — noun In English law, a writ of execution issued after judgment obtained in a legal action for debt or damages …   Wiktionary

  • Fieri facias — Lit. cause to be done . Common law writ issued, e.g. for the collection of a debt. Such writs were addressed to a *sheriff for execution; he would seize goods and *chattels to the value of the judgement. In Latin documents the abbr. fi. fa was… …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • fieri facias — formal court order ordering the collection of a debt …   English contemporary dictionary

  • fieri facias — [ˌfʌɪərʌɪ feɪʃɪas] noun Law a writ to a sheriff for executing a judgement. Origin L., cause to be made or done …   English new terms dictionary

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