Judicial and Execution Sales Law and Legal Definition

A judicial sale is a sale conducted under a court order, decree, or judgment by a court-appointed officer or fiduciary. The sale is restricted to specified real or personal property under specified conditions, must be purchased with money and confirmed by the court to be a final sale. Judicial sales are usually ordered only after final judgment, the exception being when the property to be sold is perishable or otherwise likely to depreciate in value.

An execution sale is a ministerial act, made pursuant to a writ issued by the clerk of the court, not a court order. The specific property to be sold is generally not designated in the writ, and the court imposes no conditions. "Special execution sales," however, are ordered by the court and are required to be reported to that court for confirmation; to that extent they are similar to judicial sales.

Both types of sale are open to the public, except when private sales are authorized by the court in certain situations. Under federal rules and in many state jurisdictions, property to be sold by judicial or execution sale must first be appraised, if not waived by the parties, and the appraisers' reports, become part of the terms of the sale.

Notice, either by posting or publication, is nearly always required for execution and judicial sales and local law may require that notice of an execution sale be served on the execution debtor. Statutes sometimes give the judgment debtor, owner, lienor, or other interested persons a right to redeem or reacquire the proerty by paying the purchase price, plus interest, or by the performance of some other statutorily prescribed condition. This right of redemption is sometimes restricted to the sale of real property. The right of redemption may also be provided for by contract, or, in the case of a judicial sale, by court decree.