Local Court New South Wales

Enforcing a court decision

If a court has made a decision and you do not comply with the orders made, the other person (who opposed you in court) can take action to have the decision enforced.

Enforcement of criminal orders for the payment of compensation or costs

Where a court makes an order for payment of compensation or for costs and this has not been paid, enforcement proceedings can be started in the civil jurisdiction of that court.

The creditor (person to whom the money is payable), can request the court that made the order to prepare a certificate of conviction. The certificate must then be registered as a judgment of the court, allowing civil enforcement to commence.

A person seeking to enforce a criminal order for compensation or costs is not required to pay fees for the civil enforcement process.

Enforcement of civil judgments

The most common options for enforcing a court judgment for an amount of money include a:

  • garnishee order
  • examination notice
  • writ of execution, also called a writ for levy of property.

Garnishee order

This is an order to a bank or employer to deduct money from the bank account or wages for the amount owing.

Examination notice

This is used to gather information about the financial circumstances of the person that owes the money.

Writ of execution or writ for levy of property

This directs the sheriff to take and sell property of the person that owes the money. There are additional costs added to the amount owing when the sheriff takes action on a writ of execution.

For more information see Enforcing writs for levy of property or property seizure orders.

Breach of Apprehended Violence Order

If anyone fails to obey or breaches an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), it must be reported to the police. The person can be arrested by the police for breaching the order and may be required to attend court to answer a charge of contravening an AVO.

If you are a protected person in AVO proceedings, it is a good idea to keep a record of any incident that occurs, which will help police in their investigation and any subsequent prosecution.

If you are a victim of domestic violence and need support, see the Women's Domestic Violence Court Assistance Schemes.

Last updated:

21 Jul 2023

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