Can a bailiff (now called a commissioner of justice) enter a dwelling in the absence of his occupant?
Verified 04 October 2021 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice
Yes, a commissioner of justice can make a seizure in a dwelling
- when it has a enforceable title and that he has previously transmitted to the occupant of the dwelling a command to pay
- and that the occupant of the dwelling has not repaid his debt within 8 days after the order to pay has been given
At the end of this period, the Commissioner of Justice may enter the dwelling to make the seizure.
If the occupant (be it the debtor or a third party) is absent or refuses to let the Commissioner of Justice in, the Commissioner of Justice can enter the accommodation provided he is accompanied.
The Commissioner of Justice must be accompanied by:
- of the mayor of the municipality
- or a municipal councilor
- or a municipal official delegated by the mayor for that purpose
- or a police or gendarmerie authority.
If this is not possible, the Commissioner of Justice must be accompanied by 2 witnesses:
- over 18 years of age
- and who are not at the service of the creditornor the Commissioner of Justice.
The justice commissioner has to call in a locksmith to open the doors.
In the dwelling, the Commissioner of Justice may have the doors and furniture opened, provided that the persons accompanying him are present. He can carry out seizure operations (for example, seizing goods placed in a safe) provided that the people accompanying him attend.
The Commissioner of Justice must call in a locksmith to ensure the closure of the door (or any other exit) through which he entered.