Can any items at the defendant’s address be seized by the sheriff to satisfy a debt?

I received a judgement in my favor in small claims court. The defendant has not yet paid so I filed a writ of execution for seizure of their property. The defendant lives with her parents. Is her parents’ property automatically exempt or can the sheriff seize anything in the home that was not designated exempt? The only items she claimed as exempt were her auto, clothes, and a fish tank.

Asked on June 13, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, only the property of the defendant is potentially subject to seizure; you cannot have the property of third parties seized to satisfy the defendant's debt, whether they are located at her residence or not. Sometimes there may be a factual issue or question as to who owns what; but anything that is owned by another person cannnot be seized in this case.

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