In Part One of this two-part blog series, we will explain generally what a Writ of Scire Facias is, how it works, and the elements that must be incorporated in order to obtain the benefits.
Scire Facias is a judicial writ which requires a person to appear in Court and argue why a Judgment against him/her shouldn’t be annulled, vacated, executed, or enforced.
This is no longer a remedy under federal law. However, many states, including Texas, still use this writ. For example, when one of the parties dies during suit, a Writ of Scire Facias can be used to get an heir or administrator to appear and prosecute once a Suggestion of Death is filed.
Alternatively, a sharp Plaintiff’s attorney will use this writ to extend a Court’s Order requiring payment if the time to pay the Judgment has expired.
In order to use a Writ of Scire Facias to extent a Court Order requiring payment, the Plaintiff first has to have a monetary Judgment from a Defendant in a civil case. Judges routinely will sign an Order requiring the Defendant to pay that monetary Judgment by a certain date. However, this Order can lapse if the Judgment is not paid by the specific time ordered by the Court.
Prior to the expiration of the Court’s deadline to pay, the Plaintiff can file a Motion in the Court to extend the previously-signed Order. If the Plaintiff fails to file a Motion Requesting an Extension of Time to Pay, he or she can still come back and file a Writ of Scire Facias. The filing of this Writ revives the Motion and requires the Defendant to make an appearance before the Court.
Don’t be fooled by the name; a Writ of Scire Facias is a relatively simple document. Each Writ must include the same basic information:
1. The name of the creditor and debtor (Plaintiff vs. Defendant);
2. Name of the Court and case number from whence the original Judgment came;
3. Date the Petition was filed; and
4. County where Petition was filed.
As you can see, a Writ of Scire Facias can be an invaluable tool for Plaintiffs seeking to obtain payment on a Judgment. In Part Two, we will discuss what to do if you receive such a writ and what happens next.