Evictions & F.I.F.A.
The eviction process begins with the landlord or agent filing a dispossessory affidavit with the Civil and Magistrate Court. Once a dispossess has been served at the residence, the tenant has seven days to file an answer with the Clerk of Court. If no answer is filed, or the tenant does not prove their case in court, a writ of possession (commonly referred to as the eviction order) is issued. Upon receiving the writ of possession, the Marshal's Office will contact the landlord and schedule the eviction. A courtesy notice will be left at the residence no later than 24 hours before the eviction will take place. At the designated time the deputy will meet with the landlord to begin the eviction.
The landlord is responsible for all labor and expenses incurred with the eviction.
F. I. F. A. (Fieri Facias) is a directive from the Court to the Sheriff, Marshal, or other authorized officer, requiring him to seize sufficient property of the defendant to satisfy the amount due on the judgment.
A FiFa is an order issued on behalf of the plaintiff (you) against the defendant. Upon requesting a FiFa from the clerk of Civil and Magistrate Court, inform the clerk to forward your FiFa to the Marshal’s Office. A deputy will be assigned to assist you in the levying process. The FiFa can cause property belonging to the defendant to be seized, or levied on, which will be sold at a public auction, in order to satisfy the amount on the FiFa.
Levys on Property
First, the deputy will make contact with you to check on any new developments. If it is determined that it will require a levy on property, give the deputy a number where you can be reached (day / night). When the deputy locates the defendant, you will be required to meet the deputy at his/her location immediately, in order for the levy to begin. The defendant has the first option to point out property which can be levied upon. If he refuses, or points out property of no value, then the option moves to you (plaintiff). Any property levied on must belong to the defendant. For example, you could not levy on a vehicle which is registered to another person. Also, you cannot levy against property, which would exceed the amount of the FiFa. For example, you would not be able to levy against a 2005 vehicle in running condition for a $500 judgment. All property (except vehicles) levied on must be placed in bonded storage. Bonded storage is a storage company that is insured, not a self-storage. You need to make prior arrangements with a bonded storage company before attempting to levy. It would be wise to first determine these charges, since most storage companies require up front payment. The storage company is required to pick up the property at the time of the levy and also deliver it to the Courthouse at the time of the sale. Vehicles levied on are stored at Proctor’s Paint & Body. If you would like to store the property (businesses only), you will need to complete a storage request form, before attempting to levy on property.
Advertising, Bids, & Payments
FiFas from the Civil Court are required to be advertised for two weeks on public bulletin boards before sale. FiFas from the Magistrate Court are required to be advertised for four weeks through the local newspaper. After the levy, you will be notified as to the cost of the advertisement. You will be required to bring a check to the Marshal’s Office, payable to the Augusta Chronicle for that amount. You will be notified at that time, of the date and time of the sale. The sale will start in the lobby of the Courthouse (530 Greene Street) and adjourn to the location of the property. The property will be sold to the highest bidder. The buyer is responsible for all towing and storage fees. As the plaintiff, if you enter a bid, you will only be required to pay a small percentage of that bid. The FiFa will be credited the amount of the bid. If no one enters a bid, the property will have to be re-advertised, adding to the costs. All payments with the Clerk’s office are required immediately following the sale.
Contact the City Clerk
If you are willing to allow the defendant to satisfy the FiFa by making payments, notify the deputy when he contacts you. It will not effect the FiFa if the defendant fails to continue the payments. Upon not receiving a payment at the scheduled time, contact the Clerk’s office at (706) 821-2370 with your case number and have the FiFa returned to the Marshal’s Office for a levy. Inform the clerks of all payments received so that the FiFa can be credited.