Huissier de justice

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Sign of hussier de justice in Angoulême, France

A huissier de justice (literally French for "justice usher"), sometimes anglicized as judicial officer, is an officer of the court in France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Canada, Greece, Italy, and Switzerland. The officer is appointed by a magistrate of the court (or in France, by the Minister of Justice) and holds a monopoly on the service and execution of court decisions and enforceable instruments. Huissiers de justice also serve as formal witnesses to events (constat d'huissier) in the manner of a notary public.

There is no exactly similar position in the English or American legal system, but the post is often translated as bailiff or process server because of the roughly similar function.

As a member of the legal profession, he acts in the service of process, responsible for delivering such documents and authenticating parties to whom they are delivered; proceeds in the enforcement and recovery of any court and legal claims, including bankruptcy, property claims, seizures, and evictions; issues court summonses (assignments and quotations); and performs other actions. He may also exercise authorizations of a Court of Appeals, and act in insurance and property actions. He has the monopoly right to call police hearings to guarantee execution of court orders, and to conduct non-monopoly activities such as amicable settlements, draft findings of private deeds, and offer limited legal advice. He also can authenticate character findings which may serve as evidence during litigation. Some elements of his statements cannot be challenged except by way of improbation.


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