Enforcement warrant – Seizure & sale of property

This form is used, without notice to the payer, to enforce a respondent’s obligation to pay money by the sale or seizure of property. Rule 11.01 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021 (Family Law Rules 2021) specifies in detail the debts which can be enforced.

Before applying for an enforcement order the payee may give a payer (person liable) written notice requiring the payer to complete and serve a Financial Statement within 14 days after receiving the notice OR by filing an Application in a Proceeding  and an Affidavit – Family law and child support applying for an order, without notice to the Respondent, requiring the payer to complete and file a Financial Statement or requiring the payer to disclose information or produce copies of documents relevant to the payer’s financial affairs.

The warrant must be signed, dated and sealed before it is enforceable and remains in force for 12 months.

You must file an Affidavit – Family law and child support with this form. The Affidavit must comply with r11.06 and include the details at r11.15(2).

Filing with the Court

This form must be filed at a court registry (original plus 2 copies).

If the Enforcement Warrant issues

If the Enforcement Warrant issues, the payee must provide to the Enforcement Officer the items listed at r11.16 of the Family Law Rules 2021. The Enforcement Officer’s responsibilities are available at r11.18. The process of enforcement is outlined at r11.19 to r11.31 which includes information for Respondents.

It is your responsibility to select an enforcement officer to action the enforcement warrant. You can use:

  • The Marshal of the Federal Circuit and Family Court or their delegate. Documents should be emailed to marshal@fedcourt.gov.au. The Court may organise someone else to effect the warrant.  
  • A person that the Applicant has arranged to have appointed by the Court as the enforcement officer e.g. local court bailiff, police officer, trustee in bankruptcy, a licences private commercial agent or receiver. The Court does not keep a list of people approved to do this work. Documents should be emailed to marshal@fedcourt.gov.au.
  • A person, not listed above. The Applicant can ask the Court to appoint a named person (other than above) as an enforcement officer to action the warrant. They must file an Affidavit setting out the facts relied upon to satisfy the Court that the person is fit and proper to be appointed to execute an enforcement warrant; the proposed fees and expenses of the enforcement warrant and attaching the written consent of the proposed enforcement officer at the same time as the Enforcement Warrant. 

Payee’s responsibilities. At least 28 days before an enforcement officer sells real property under an Enforcement Warrant the payee must do all the things listed at r11.25 including registering the warrant against the title deed at the Land Titles Office as to that Department’s requirements for registration.

After the enforcement warrant is actioned by the enforcement officer the following must be paid from the money received:

  • To the enforcement officer – any amount still owing for the reasonable fees and expenses of the enforcement.
  • To the payee, any balance up to the amount owed under the enforcement warrant.
  • To the debtor, any balance.

If there is no or insufficient property to seize and sell to pay the amount owing under the enforcement warrant, the enforcement officer will report this.

An enforcement officer must report in writing to the Registry Manager as to the result of the enforcement process. A copy of this report must be given to you.

Legal advice

To understand your legal rights and responsibilities you should obtain legal advice. A lawyer can explain how the law applies to your case and assist you to complete forms and lodge documents. The Court is unable to provide legal advice because to do so would seriously compromise its ability to impartially determine your case. There are several free services available. See Find a lawyer for more information.