Enforcement of a judgment of the civil court

Verified 23 June 2021 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

A judgment rendered by a civilian court may be executed immediately, subject to exceptions. In order to enforce it, the decision must have been brought to the notice of the party convicted by notification of the graft or by significance. The parties (the applicant and the defendant) can be reached in a friendly manner. Otherwise, there is a forced execution, which is carried out by a commissioner of justice (former bailiff and judicial auctioneer). 

The decision of the judge shall be applicable immediately, without waiting for the expiry of the time limits for appeal, unless the law or the judge decides otherwise. That means she's enforceable right away.

General case

Provisional execution is automatic in civil judgments, unless the judge decides otherwise. He has to explain the reason.

In certain subjects (application for interim measures, interim measures or conservatories), provisional execution cannot be ruled out. This is the case, for example, with non-conciliation orders in the case of divorce or when the judge grants a provision of silver to creditor.


provisional execution may be halted, in whole or in part, by the first president of the court of appeal if the consequences of execution are excessive. This is the case when the decision has too great or irreversible consequences, such as the destruction of an asset. Whoever is convicted and who wants to stop the execution seizes the first president by a subpoena.

Nationality, social security, divorce, adoption, filiation, decision of the labor council

Provisional execution is optional. It may be requested by the parties or ordered by the judge.


if it has not been pronounced by the judge, provisional execution may be requested from the first president of the court of appeal, if there is an emergency, for example. The creditor seised the judge by a subpoena.

Compensatory benefit, challenge of attorney's fees

Execution temporary is impossible. We have to wait for the decision to be made definitive to be able to execute it.

In order to request the enforcement of a judgment, you must bring it to the notice of the party convicted by notification or by significance.

Execution may be voluntary or enforced.

Voluntary execution

The judgment can be executed voluntarily if you get along amicably. The debtor (whoever owes the money) pays the sums due spontaneously or at the request of the creditor. If you're represented by your lawyers, they act as intermediaries.


In the absence of voluntary execution, in order to obtain enforcement, you have to go to a Commissioner of Justice.

You can apply to the court registry that issued the decision to obtain a copy. A simple certified copy is not enough. You must have a enforceable copy on which is added a formula which allows the Commissioner of Justice to enforce the decision.

You have to do signify the decision by a Commissioner of Justice if it has not been notified by the transplant. Whether it is final or subject to appeal, it must be brought to the notice of the debtor in order to be enforced by the creditor.

Then you can go to a commissioner and make some seizures money or property, for example.

The cost of the commissioner of justice is borne by the convicted person. In the case of a debt, the creditor (the person claiming the money) must pay collection rights to the commissioner of justice. This amount, which is used to pay the Commissioner of Justice, depends on the nature and amount of the debt that he collects from the debtor.


in the case of an appeal, if you have won a trial and the decision is subsequently changed, you may have to return the amount, the property or its equivalent to the debtor.

You have 10 years to enforce the judgment.

After this period, enforcement is no longer possible.

That period may be interrupted by an act of enforcement (seizure banking, foreclosure of property, for example).

Difficulties in enforcing a decision

The enforcement judge is competent to deal with difficulties connected with the enforcement of a judgment. If you have a favorable decision and you have difficulties in getting it enforced, you can go to that judge. It is competent when the sentenced person does not execute the decision or when the execution causes you harm (material, financial...).

You can enter it to get repair. For example, you can enter it to get a penalty payment, a measure conservatory, a attachment on remuneration.

The enforcement judge shall be seised by subpoena.

Difficulty coping with a decision that condemns you

The enforcement judge is competent to deal with difficulties connected with the enforcement of a judgment. If you are convicted, you can enter it if you challenge a forced execution (a bank account seizure, a seizure of furniture ... etc) or obtain a delay to pay.

The enforcement judge shall be seised by subpoena.

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