Execution Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Execution.

Execution (noun)

  1. In legal context, 'execution' refers to the process by which an officer of the court, such as a sheriff or marshal, enforces a court judgment. This typically involves seizing and selling the property of the party who lost the lawsuit (known as the judgment debtor) in order to pay the party who won (known as the judgment creditor). This action is usually initiated by obtaining a writ of execution from the court clerk, which instructs the officer on which property to seize. If the property is real estate, there will first be a levy placed (a lien on the title) before execution can occur. The judgment debtor has the opportunity to pay the judgment and associated costs before the sale of the property to reclaim it.

  2. 'Execution' can also refer to the carrying out of a death sentence.