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If property belongs to someone else

Information about what happens if sheriff wants to take property that belongs to another person.

If the sheriff arrives and some of the property or goods in the house are either owned jointly or belong to another person, the easiest way to deal with this is to:

  • tell the sheriff that they do not belong to the person named in the warrant, and
  • let the owner/co-owner of the property know about this immediately and see if they can produce evidence of ownership.

It may be necessary to take the matter to court. The person who disputes ownership should ask the sheriff to issue an interpleader summons in the Magistrates' Court. This will bring the parties together and allow a magistrate to hear the evidence and decide on the ownership.

More information


Magistrates' Court General Civil Procedure Rules 2020 (Vic)

  • Order 12—interpleader
  • r. 12.02—stakeholder's interpleader
  • r. 12.03—sheriff's interpleader
  • Order 37B—search orders
  • Order 66—enforcement of orders
  • r. 68.04—issue of warrant
  • r. 68.11—warrant to seize property must be in form 68A
  • Order 69—warrant to seize property
  • Forms—a list of prescribed forms are placed at the end of these rules

See Magistrates' Court General Civil Procedure Rules 2020 (Vic)(opens in a new window).