Fieri Facias, the name of a writ at common law, so ancient that its origin is unknown. By it a sheriff, or other competent officer to whom it was directed, was ordered quod fieri facias, de tern's et catallis (or de bonis et catallis), "that you cause to be made out of the lands and chattels," or "the goods and chattels of," etc, a certain sum of money, being that to which the party for whom the writ was issued was entitled by the judgment of court; and it may be remarked that the only regular foundation for the writ of fieri facias is a judgment of court. It is in fact the great writ of execution in general, chough not exclusive, use throughout the United States, and is often spoken, or at least written of, by way of abbreviation, as afi.fia. By virtue of it the officer to whom it is directed will obtain from the property of him against whom it is directed enough to satisfy the amount of debt or damages and costs, which are always specifically stated in the writ. The rights which this writ confers upon the officer, and the manner in which he is to exercise them, are to some extent matters of statutory regulation.

In general it may be said that he must not obtain an entrance to a dwelling by breaking an outer door or window; and it was mainly from this rule that there grew up, with the aid of a little rhetoric, the famous apothegm that "every Englishman's house was his castle." But he may break the outer door of a building disconnected with a dwelling house, as a barn or store; and being peaceably, by voluntary admission or by entry without opposition, within a dwelling house, the sheriff may break open inner doors, or chests or boxes, in search of goods; and it is said that he may do this without the ceremony of asking that they be opened.