A writ of execution is a court order that puts in force a judgment of possession and directs law enforcement personnel to begin the transfer of property as the result of a legal judgment. The property may include assets, money, or real property.
A judgment of possession is a court order that determines who is entitled to the property. After a judgment of possession is rendered by the court, the judge may then issue a writ of execution to begin the transfer of property. The judgment for possession states the plaintiff has a right to the property; the writ of execution begins the transfer process from a judgment debtor to a plaintiff.
After a judgment of possession, A writ of execution can also be used to evict a tenant who will not leave on their own and who will not pay rent. In the event of a tenant’s eviction, the issuance of a writ of execution allows the tenant and their belongings to be removed from the residence.
In a case where the court gave judgment in favour of the Plaintiff who had commenced execution, the Plaintiff’s counsel who was at the site of the execution to point at the exact property is unfounded and a gross act unbecoming of a legal practitioner.
When a court issues a writ of execution, a sheriff, deputy sheriff, or a court official is usually charged with taking possession of any property that is owed to the plaintiff, not the Plaintiff Counsel. If the property is money, the debtor’s bank account may be frozen or the funds may be moved into a holding account. If real property is to be transferred, the items can be transferred in kind or can be sold in a sheriff’s sale. Funds from the sale may be given to the plaintiff to satisfy the terms of the court’s judgment.
Except until it’s necessary, a lawyer should not be the pointer for the property. In fact, the lawyer should not even be seen at the site of an execution. This is because the interest of a lawyer should not go beyond the courtroom. The lawyer should ensure that the execution fees have been satisfied. Thereafter the staff of the execution unit in the company of the Nigerian Police attached to the High Court Unit will then proceed to the venue of the execution.
LEGAL TIPS is anchored by Ms CIA Ofoegbunam, an Abuja-based lawyer who is passionate about legal practice.LEGAL TIPS offers quick hints on substantive law, as well as rules of practice and procedure, and serves as a handy reference guide to lawyers, especially in court.Published on a weekly basis, the LEGAL TIPS Series is CIA’s modest contribution to legal development in Nigeria.