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Entering your home or work

Sheriff officers can enter your home or work to carry out an order. But only if the court gives them permission to do so.

They must have a document that says they're allowed to enter. You've the right to ask them for it.

It may not always be clear from the document they've the right to enter. They’re allowed to enter if it says 'grants warrant for all lawful execution’.

When sheriff officers can come

Sheriff officers can usually only come:

  • Monday to Saturday (except on public holidays)
  • between 8am and 8pm

The court can give them permission to come at another time. For example, if they've got a warrant to enter because someone is in danger. 

Forcing entry

If a sheriff officer has permission to enter your home or work but you do not let them in, they can use 'necessary reasonable force' to get in.

This means they're allowed to get in by:

  • forcing open a door
  • breaking a lock
  • breaking a window

If you try to stop them entering your home or work you could be charged with 'breach of the peace'.

If you're not in

If you're not at home or work when a sheriff officer visits, they can only force entry if they're:

Sheriff officers and the police

A sheriff officer may bring the police with them when they come to your home or work.

The police cannot help the sheriff officer carry out their order. But they can arrest you if you break the law. For example, if you cause a breach of the peace.

Repairing any damage

If the sheriff officer needs to force entry they must leave the building secure.

The cost of repairing any damage is added to the sheriff officer fees.

Sheriff officer fees are usually added onto the debt you owe.

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