Warrants to Seize Property and Warrants of Seizure and Sale

When the court or VCAT make an order for a person to pay money (debtor) and they do not pay it, the person who is owed the money (creditor) can apply to the court (that made the order) to issue a Warrant to Seize Property or a Warrant of Seizure and Sale.

Warrants to Seize Property are issued by the Magistrates’ Court and authorise the Sheriff to:

  • demand payment of the warrant amount from the debtor, and
  • if they do not pay, to seize and sell their personal property (for example, their vehicle).

Warrants of Seizure and Sale are issued by the County Court, Supreme Court or a federal court and authorise the Sheriff to:

  • demand payment of the warrant amount from the debtor, and
  • if the debtor does not pay, to seize and sell their personal property (for example, their vehicle), and
  • if no personal property is available for seizure and sale, sell the debtor's interest in real estate.

There is some property the Sheriff cannot seize, such as:

  • basic household items
  • vehicles up to a certain value
  • tools the debtor uses to earn income, up to a certain value
  • items the debtor is wearing
  • items of sentimental value.

To search for and seize property, the Sheriff can enter any address in Victoria that he/she reasonably believes that the debtor's personal property can be found. The Sheriff may use force to enter the premises during certain times of the day.

If the Sheriff seizes the debtor's personal property and they do not pay, the Sheriff can advertise and sell it. The proceeds of sale from the Sheriff’s auction are applied to:

  • the Sheriff’s costs of execution
  • other warrants based on the order of priority (the date the Sheriff received the warrant)
  • the outstanding debt amounts
  • the debtor (if there are excess funds).

Other civil warrants

The Sheriff is directed and authorised to enforce other warrants issued by the Magistrates’ Court, County Court and Supreme Court, such as:

  • Warrants of Delivery: for not complying with an order to deliver specified items of property (goods) to the person named in the warrant. The Sheriff can take the goods described in the warrant and deliver them to the person named in the warrant.
  • Warrants of Possession: for not complying with an order to give possession of the land to the person named in the warrant. The Sheriff can enter the land named on the warrant, remove any persons from it and give possession of the land to the person named in the warrant.
  • Warrants of Apprehension: for not complying with a summons to appear. The Sheriff can enter premises and arrest the person named on the warrant.

The Sheriff may also enforce civil warrants issued out of a federal court and serve interstate and foreign summons.

Lodging warrants with the Sheriff

A creditor can lodge their civil warrant with the Sheriff for enforcement.

To lodge a warrant with the Sheriff, creditors are required to provide the Sheriff with:

  • the original warrant issued by the court
  • the required fee
  • supporting affidavits (Warrants of Seizure and Sale only).

The Sheriff’s fees are:

Fee type Magistrates' Court
- all warrants
County and Supreme Court
- Warrants of Possession
County and Supreme Court
- all other warrants
Lodgement fee $206.10 $215.70* $206.10
Fee for each additional property for a warrant of possessions Not applicable $157.10 Not applicable
Fee for each additional address specified for execution $157.10 Not applicable $157.10
Lodgement and execution for combined money and possessions Not applicable $263.50 Not applicable
Renewal fee $157.10 $157.10 $157.10
Fee for further 2 calls after the first 4 calls $64.20 Not applicable $64.20
Continue execution fee $157.10 Not applicable $157.10
Reschedule fees Not applicable $185.80 Not applicable
Redirection fee $157.10 Not applicable $157.10
Office copy $29.90 $29.90 $29.90

*for each property

Sheriff’s officers will provide creditors with a written report (Field Report) advising them of the enforcement outcome.

Further information

You can visit the Sheriff's office location nearest to you in regional or metropolitan Victoria.

Alternatively, you can contact Sheriff’s Support by: