Writ of Execution
A Writ of Execution is a court order to a sheriff or constable to seize and sell non-exempt property owned by the judgment debtor in order to pay the judgment creditor. After the court issues a Writ of Execution, the sheriff or constable will serve the Writ, seize the property and auction the property. The proceeds of the sale will first be used to pay the costs of the sale and then to pay the creditor. Any remaining money will be paid to the debtor. Rule of Civil Procedure 64E governs Writs of Execution. Rules 64, 69A, 69B and 69C also are relevant.
The judgment creditor can apply for a Writ of Execution 28 days after the court enters judgment. Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 62. In the Application, the creditor must describe the nature and location of the debtor's property. To get this information, the creditor can ask the court for permission to ask the debtor questions about the property. For more information, see our webpage on Identifying Judgment Debtor's Property.
If you are applying for a Writ of Execution in a court that did not enter the judgment, first file an Abstract of Judgment with that court. Obtain an Abstract of Judgment from the clerk of the court that entered the judgment. The court in which you file the Abstract will charge a filing fee and assign a new case number.
The sheriff or constable may seize only "non-exempt" real and personal property. The law protects (exempts) certain property from seizure. Some property is exempt regardless of its value. Other property is exempt up to a specified amount. In that case, the property will be sold with the exempt amount going to the debtor and the balance to the creditor. The Notice of Execution and Exemptions form provides more information about exemptions. For more information, see the Utah Exemptions Act. (Utah Code Section 78B-5-501 and the succeeding sections.)
The property must be in the possession or under the control of the debtor. A different procedure, called a Writ of Garnishment, is used to seize property held by someone other than the debtor, for example, the debtor's employer (wages) or bank (account).
Non-exempt real property may be seized. Real property is land and buildings, such as a home, vacation home, or office building. Non-exempt personal property also may be seized. Personal property is everything other than real property.
Only property owned by the judgment debtor may be seized. If the creditor believes someone other than the debtor claims an interest in the property, the creditor should identify that person and have him or her served with a copy of the Writ of Execution and other papers.
If the sheriff or constable seizes property that the debtor believes is exempt, s/he should file a Reply and Request for Hearing. Anyone else who claims an interest in the property, including a co-owner who is not liable for the judgment, may protect that property interest by filing a Reply and Request for Hearing. If a Reply and Request for Hearing is filed, no execution sale may be held until a judge has decided the claims.
Forms to apply for a Writ of Execution
Forms to claim an exemption or ownership interest in the property