Once a judgment for money is awarded, the defendant is given a period of time, normally 14 days, to pay. If they don't, you may need to take action to enforce the judgment.

How it works

Judgments for money for £600 or more, whether awarded in the County Court or the High Court, can be enforced by High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs), who are authorised by the Lord Chancellor and work privately or in private companies.

HCEOs work under the authority of a writ of control. This is issued when a County Court judgment (CCJ), order or employment tribunal award or ACAS settlement is transferred to the High Court for enforcement.

What does it cost?

There is a court fee to obtain the writ. At The Sheriffs Office we will manage the process of applying for the writ on your behalf at no cost.

If you have a High Court judgment or order you can request a writ of control using form PF86A along with the court fee for the writ.

What can we recover?

If successful, we recover from the defendant:

  • Your judgment debt
  • Your court costs, including the court fee for the writ
  • Judgment interest at 8%
  • HCEO enforcement fees

If enforcement is unsuccessful, the judgment creditor only has to pay a Compliance fee. You do not normally pay any other costs associated with the enforcement of your writ.

As a result, HCEOs tend to have significantly higher collection rates than those of the County Court Bailiffs, who are salaried without any financial incentive to collect.