E-note 2 – The actors of enforcement

In the Netherlands, the enforcement agent is a public officer entrusted with tasks assigned or reserved by or pursuant to the law, whether or not to the exclusion of anyone else, to the Dutch judicial officer (‘gerechtsdeurwaarder’). The Dutch judicial officer is appointed by Royal Decree.

The Dutch judicial officer is in particular entrusted with:

  • the issuing of writs of summons and other forms of service, which form part of access to the courts or the instruction of court proceedings;
  • the effecting of judicial notice by service, notifications, protests and other writs;
  • evictions, attachments, public foreclosures, commitments for failures to comply with a judicial order and other acts, which form part or are required for the implementation of writs of execution or the preservation of rights;
  • the filing of protests for non-acceptance, or non-payment of drafts, promissory notes, etc. and the drawing up of deeds of intervention at the foot of the protest;
  • the official supervision of voluntary public sales of personal corporeal property by auction, or by Dutch auction.

The official acts include the activities directly related thereto.

If so requested, the judicial officer shall at all times be required to perform the official acts to which he is authorised in the entire district in which his place of practice is located, unless he cannot be reasonably expected to do so because of personal circumstances or the applicant is not prepared to pay the advance costs for the performance of official acts.

Other activities than the official acts referred to above can be performed only if they do not affect or obstruct the proper and independent discharge of his office or its reputation. By general order of council the performance of certain activities can be prohibited, save with regard to:

  • the acting as a representative ad litem or authorised docket agent and the rendering;
  • of legal assistance in court and otherwise, in accordance with the relevant statutory provisions;
  • the acting as trustee or administrator;
  • the collecting of moneys for third parties, Article 19 being applicable mutatis mutandis;
  • the making of inventories and valuations;
  • the drawing up of a written statement regarding material facts observed by the enforcement agent personally;
  • the exercise of the auctioneering business.

The enforcement agent keeps one or more special bank accounts, which accounts are earmarked solely for moneys of which he takes receipt for third parties in connection with his work. Any moneys entrusted to the enforcement agent in connection with his work for third parties shall be paid into that account.

The enforcement agent is authorised to perform official acts on the territory of the Netherlands.

The enforcement agent shall not be authorised to perform official acts for or directed at:

  • himself, his spouse or a person with whom he has been maintaining a durable relationship and with whom he co-habits;
  • his relatives by blood or affinity up to all degrees in the direct line and in the collateral line up to the third degree;
  • relatives by blood or affinity up to all degrees in the direct line and in the collateral line up to the third degree of a person with whom he co-habits and has a durable relationship;
  • a legal entity in which he knows or should know one of the individuals referred to in paragraph 2(a) or one of their relatives by blood or affinity in the direct line to hold a majority of the shares or holds the position of director.

Official acts, performed in contravention of the above, are null and void.

The costs of the official acts of the Dutch Judicial Officer which have to be paid by the debtor, are regulated by law. The costs which have to be paid by the creditor are subject to negotiation between judicial officer and the creditor.