Fieri Facias (Fi. Fa.) Collection Procedures

  • You must first receive a monetary judgment from the court before a Writ of Fieri Facias (Fi. Fa.) can be issued
  • The plaintiff may pursue a garnishment of the defendant’s wages or assets through his/her employer and/or bank account.
  • If the plaintiff is not familiar with the defendant’s place of employment, bank accounts, or property owned, the defendant may be served with post-judgment interrogatories. Interrogatories are a set of questions whereby the defendant must list any assets and file back with the court. These can be filed in the Magistrate Court’s Civil Division.
  • When the Fi. Fa. Has been recorded on the General Execution Docket (G.E.D.) it can be taken to the Sheriff’s Office Civil/Transport Unit.
  • Upon receipt of the Fi. Fa., the Civil/Transport Unit will send the defendant a “Demand Letter” with the intent that the defendant will voluntarily respond. Although this step is not required by law, it is not prohibited by law, either, and is a standard practice among Sheriff’s Offices which frequently yields positive results.  Each time an attempt to levy property is made by the Sheriff’s Office, the plaintiff will be required to pay a $50.00 service fee.
  • It is the responsibility of the plaintiff, not the Sheriff’s Office, to locate any property of the defendant which is not subject to any prior outstanding liens and designate which property is to be levied.
  • When first contacting the defendant for collection, the Deputy Sheriff will first make an oral demand for payment. If payment is not made, the defendant is given an opportunity to designate property upon which to levy, sufficient to satisfy the Fi. Fa.
  • Any towing, transport, or storage of property is the responsibility of the plaintiff to arrange and pay for. Storage must be deemed safe and secure by the Sheriff’s Office.
  • The property must be published in a Notice of Sheriff’s Sale in the legal organ of the county (currently, the Barrow Journal) for four (4) weeks and sold at public auction on the first Tuesday of the following month. The plaintiff is responsible for legal advertising fees.
  • The Fi. Fa. Is in force for seven (7) years and is renewable every seven (7) years. If the full amount owed is not collected, additional levies can be performed.