A Writ of Fieri Facias (or Writ of Fi Fa) is a document issued by the Clerk of Magistrate Court for the purpose of recording a lien on the judgment debtor's property. It is also the legal instrument by which the sheriff of a county may seize the assets of a judgment debtor. A Writ of Fi Fa is recorded upon the general execution docket, which is maintained by the Clerk of Superior Court for Athens-Clarke County.
Obtaining a Writ of Fieri Facias
Any person, partnership, or corporation who has obtained a judgment that has not been paid in full may request the issuance of a Writ of Fi Fa. The Clerk of Magistrate Court of Athens-Clarke County can only issue Writs of Fi Fa for judgments issued from the Magistrate Court of Athens-Clarke County. If the judgment was obtained in another court or county, the judgment creditor must seek the Writ of Fi Fa from the court that issued the judgment.
All requests must be in writing. The Writ Request Form may be used.
Issuance & Cost
A Writ of Fi Fa will not be issued until 30 days after the date of judgment. The cost for a Writ of Fi Fa is $4 to the Clerk of Magistrate Court and $5 to the Clerk of Superior Court. The Magistrate Court collects both payments.
Recording a Writ of Fieri Facias in Other Counties
A judgment creditor may apply to the Clerk of Superior Court to record a Writ of Fi Fa on the general execution docket in any county where the judgment debtor owns real property or seizable assets.
Cancellation of a Writ of Fieri Facias
When a judgment is paid in full, the judgment creditor has the legal obligation to cancel the Writ of Fi Fa on the general execution docket of any county where the writ was issued and any county in which the writ was recorded. This must be completed with the Clerk of Superior Court. Failure to properly cancel a Writ of Fi Fa could subject the judgment creditor to an assessment of damages. The cancellation fee is $5, plus an additional $2 for each cross-reference.
Lien Upon a Motor Vehicle
A Writ of Fi Fa may also be used to perfect a lien upon any motor vehicles that the judgment debtor owns. The Georgia Department of Revenue has established the process to perfect the judgment lien. The appropriate form is available through the Georgia Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles