The bailiff exercises an independent liberal profession regulated by ordinance n ° 45-2592 of November 2, 1945. Although subject to his supervisory authority which is the Ministry of Justice, he does not receive instruction, but his action is exercised in compliance with a code of ethics subject to the control of the public prosecutor and the departmental chamber of judicial officers.
For example, their status prohibits them from instrumenting on behalf of friends or allies (that is, their family circle). Just as the function of judicial officer is incompatible with any salary, commercial, administrative or judicial activity (judge, clerk, etc.).
He is both a ministerial officer, responsible for executing court decisions that have become enforceable, he exercises a public service mission by delegation of the State and a public officer responsible for drawing up authentic acts (These acts deemed to be true will not be called into question until the false registration which is a criminal procedure).
Activities over which it has a monopoly
Service of documents
To signify an act means to bring it to the knowledge of a person. Whenever the document is served by a bailiff, the document is said to be served.
This applies to court decisions (judgments, orders, etc.) whose service is a legal obligation. That is to say whenever we want to ensure that the person concerned has been officially informed of a decision taken against him.
The service is an authentic act. This is proof that the document has indeed been sent to its addressee.
There are several modes of service:
The judicial officer must hand the document into the hands of the addressee in all places. If the latter is absent, the bailiff indicates in a report the reason why he was unable to deliver the document and passes to the second mode of service provided for by law.
Service at home:
If the recipient of the document is absent, he can give a copy to the person present on the premises. The latter may refuse to take it (art. 655 of the code of civil procedure). If no one wants to receive the deed, the bailiff will leave a transit advice note in the letterbox.
This notice mentions that the document must be withdrawn from the bailiff's office as soon as possible against receipt or signature by the interested party or any other authorized person. The copy of the act is kept in study for 3 months. After this period, the bailiff is discharged (art. 656 of the code of civil procedure).
The service by report of unsuccessful searches:
Whenever the recipient of the document has no known domicile, residence or place of work, the bailiff must send the service to the last known address.
If the recipient has given his consent, the service of the document can be made by email.
Article 18 of the law of July 9, 1991 specifies that only judicial officers can proceed with the forced execution of court decisions or with protective seizures.
Any court decision must be applied, so any creditor with a title can contact a bailiff who will have to assist him and take all necessary measures to recover the sums due.
The bailiff can refuse his assistance if:
- The measure is unlawful
- The costs exceed the amount of the sum to be recovered
The creditor has the choice of execution measures (seizure-sale, protective measures…) since in fact, it is he who appoints the bailiff. But the latter has a duty of information. It is his responsibility to ensure respect for the principles of necessity and proportionality of the means of execution, which cannot be abusive.
Activities shared with other legal professionals
In reality, these activities, the exercise of which is shared with other professionals (notaries, auctioneers, etc.) make up a very important part of the work of a bailiff and concern:
Amicable recovery (art. 1 of the law of 2 November 1945)
In all cases where a creditor does not yet have an enforceable title (proceedings in progress, etc.), he can contact a bailiff who will attempt to recover the sums due using non-coercive means.
It is a delicate exercise because the bailiff cannot use any terms, nor send any request that could create doubt about the nature of his mission since he is not acting on the basis of an enforceable title. It can only encourage the debtor to pay.
In criminal proceedings, the report has only the value of simple information, while in civil cases a bailiff's report is a decisive method of proof. Law n ° 2010-1609 of December 22, 2010, establishes the principle that a finding is authentic until proven otherwise. It can therefore be demonstrated by any means that the finding is erroneous or false.
The report can be established at the request of a judge or an individual, at any time. There is therefore no need to wait until a dispute has arisen to establish it.
Concretely, for the bailiff, it is a question of determining in all neutrality purely material facts in various fields: Drawing of lots in competitions, inventory of fixtures of entry or exit of an apartment, hidden defects, poor workmanship, non-representation of a child, finding of adultery (divorce for fault), late delivery, defective products
To know :
Bailiffs may act freely in private places belonging to the applicant or in public places. However, they may only exercise in private premises or premises belonging to third parties with their authorization. In the event of refusal by these third parties, the bailiff must be in possession of a court order expressly authorizing him to do so.
Judicial or voluntary sales
On the national territory, certain places do not have auctioneers. Bailiffs will therefore be empowered to conduct judicial (forced) or voluntary sales.
Drafting of deeds under private signature
Like the notary, the bailiff can draft deeds under private signature. This generally involves establishing residential or professional leases ...
In recent years new activities have been opened to bailiffs. However, to exercise them in all neutrality, they will not be able to state their main function. Clearly, they must keep quiet (who said hiding?) That they are judicial officers to exercise as:
- Insurance agent
- Building administrator
The exercise of these activities is subject to the agreement of the public prosecutor and the departmental chamber of judicial officers.
Details of bailiffs fees
The cost of bailiffs' acts is set by decree of the Council of State. The decree of February 26, 2016 setting the regulated tariffs for judicial officers is available for consultation here..
Important info :
Any cash payment gives rise to a receipt. It is imperative, in the absence of proof of payment, you will remain debtor.
Any decision that has become enforceable and therefore before obtaining a title, the costs will be borne by the prosecuting creditor. If the bailiff acts on the basis of a title, the forced collection costs will be borne by the debtor.
They are made up of:
For which the amount of the base rate is 2,20 euros are assigned the following coefficients:
0,50 if the amount of the debt is between 0 and 128 euros.
1 if the amount of the debt is between 129 and 1 euros
Rights proportional to the debtor's charge
This proportional duty is calculated on the sums recovered or collected in installments of:
10% of the sum up to 125 euros
6,5% of the sum of 126 to 610 euros
3,5% of the sum from 611 to 1 euros
0,3% above 1 euros
The proportional rights are capped at the maximum sum of 400 euros (regardless of the amount of the debt).
Rights proportional to the burden of the creditor
They do not apply to the recovery of salary and maintenance claims.
They are calculated on the principal claim or on the amount withheld from the judgment judgment (excluding costs) and are independent of the amount agreed by the bailiff and the creditor who authorized him.
12% up to 125 euros
11% from 126 to 610 euros
10,5% from 611 to 1 euros
4% above 1 euros
Within the framework of his consulting activities, observations… the fees are freely fixed between the bailiff and the applicant.
The transport allowance for each act served is 7,67 euros
All ancillary file costs advanced by the bailiff for the execution of recovery procedures, tax costs, postage, remuneration of third parties (intervention of the locksmith, etc.).
A VAT and a flat rate tax of 11,16 euros
Each deed sent by email is fixed is 8,80 euros
European acts served in France
To serve on the national territory a document drawn up in a European country, a regulation of the EC n ° 1393/2007, aiming to facilitate and improve the service of judicial and extrajudicial documents between the member states in civil and commercial matters, fixes the costs. bailiffs at the single flat rate of 48,75 euros.