Fieri Facias
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Fieri Facias

A fieri facias, usually abbreviated fi. fa. (Latin for that you cause to be made) is a writ of execution after judgment obtained in a legal action for debt or damages for the sheriff to levy on goods of the judgment debtor.[1][2]

The term is used in English law for such a writ issued in the High Court. Some jurisdictions in the United States also employ this writ, such as the Commonwealth of Virginia.[3]

England and Wales

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.[4]

As of March 2008fi. fa. can be sought in England and Wales on judgment debts in excess of £600. Whilst fi. fa. can be used to enforce judgments obtained in the county court and High Court. In April 2014 the writ was renamed a writ of control as part of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.

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.(Abraham Cowley's poem Drinking - "By's Drunken fiery face no less")

In England and Wales, the writ of fieri facias, except for writs of fieri facias de bonis ecclesiasticis, was renamed to writ of control by the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 on 6 April 2014.[5]

Hong Kong

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.


Under U.S. law a judgment creditor could file 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.


  1. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Fieri Facias" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 328.
  2. ^ Henry C. Black, Black's Law Dictionary, rev. 4th ed. 1968.
  3. ^ E.g., Va. Code § 8.01-466, Va. Code § 8.01-478
  4. ^ E.g., Henry C. Black, Black's Law Dictionary, rev. 4th ed. 1968.
  5. ^ "The Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (Commencement No. 11) Order 2014". UK Statute Law Database. The National Archives. Retrieved 2014.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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