An enforcement warrant is used to enforce a judgment or money order and recover monies awarded to creditors in the court.
The warrant is generally requested by the successful party in a civil proceeding and directs someone to take particular action. These warrants can only be issued after a court’s judgment or order has been filed.
Types of warrants
Once a judgment or money order has been filed and/or registered in the court, you (the ‘enforcement creditor’) can apply to the court to issue an enforcement warrant to recover the debt.
The main types of warrants are:
- seizure and sale of property
- redirection of debt
- regular redirections from financial institutions
- redirection of earnings
- payment by instalments.
Other types of warrants include:
- recovery of possession of land
- delivery of goods
- seizure and detention of property
- charging orders on shares, bonds etc. (Supreme Court only).
Applying for an enforcement warrant
- File or register the judgment or money order once the court has recorded it.
- Complete Form 9 - Application (UCPR) to apply for the enforcement warrant, including the name of the debtor and the address where the warrant should be served.
- Complete Form 74 - Statement in support (UCPR) , including details about the judgment, costs and interest information.
- Complete the appropriate form for the warrant. Some warrants require additional supporting documents.
- File the documents at the courthouse where the judgment or money order was made or registered.
- Where relevant, pay the bailiff’s execution fee to the court (for a warrant for the seizure and sale of property).
You don’t need to give notice to another party. And, unless the court or registrar directs otherwise, the application can be processed without a formal hearing.
After you apply
The court will consider your application with the applicable legislation, policies and procedures. If it refuses your application for any reason, you will be notified and provided with the reasons for refusal.
You need to apply for the issue of a warrant within six years of the judgment or order, unless granted leave of the court, an application for the issue of a warrant.
Unless it states otherwise, a warrant expires one year after it is issued, though it can be renewed if necessary.
Getting financial information
Apply for an enforcement hearing if you need to establish the enforcement debtor’s financial information, including debtor property, assets and bank accounts
Letter of instructions
A letter of instructions tells the sheriff or deputy registrar what you (the enforcement creditor) want the enforcement officer to do.
It should contain as much information as possible to facilitate the enforcement, including:
- where the enforcement debtor is located
- full descriptions and locations of any property, vehicles etc.
- the street address of the land or premises
- the contact name and phone number of any agent of the enforcement creditor who can take possession of the property.
You must lodge a letter of instructions at the court registry. If no action is required to enforce the warrant, you should still lodge a letter of instructions stating this.
There is no filing fee for lodging an application for an enforcement warrant.
Fees for bailiff services
Depending on the warrant type, you may need to pay a bailiff execution fee. Use our online tool to search for the required fee.
You can employ a bailiff by contacting the bailiff’s office in Brisbane or your local courthouse.
You may also need to pay an indemnity or deposit of money (up to $2000) as security for costs the bailiff may incur while executing the warrant (only for seizure of property for sale).