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How to collect on a judgment


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I just passed out after reading the judge's decision.

I went to small claims today and the company didn't show. I presented my case and was told the Judge's decision would come in the mail. For some reason I checked the court's site and saw that she awarded me every cent I asked for.... 5 figures (I'm in California).

They have 30 days before they have to pay and of course they can appeal. But any suggestions on best how to handle this once their time is up?

 

Thank you.

 

 

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California law states that the “prevailing party” in a lawsuit is entitled to recover its costs from the other party. California Code of Civil Procedure §1032(a)(4) provides a variety of classifications which define the prevailing party for purposes of recovering costs in litigation.

http://www.hidalgolawfirm.com/losingparty.htm Losing party pays prevailing party's costs in California 

You will need to file a memorandum of costs:

https://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/mc012.pdf

 

I think this will get you started. One of the California guys responded to my post on Cost Bills after receiving a check in the mail. Hopefully he will chime in.

 

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Ready To Fight said:

I just passed out after reading the judge's decision.

I went to small claims today and the company didn't show. I presented my case and was told the Judge's decision would come in the mail. For some reason I checked the court's site and saw that she awarded me every cent I asked for.... 5 figures (I'm in California).

They have 30 days before they have to pay and of course they can appeal. But any suggestions on best how to handle this once their time is up?

 

Thank you.

 

 

Source Page - https://www.sdcourt.ca.gov/sdcourt/smallclaims2/smallclaimshowtocollect

Costs After Judgment

A judgment creditor is entitled to recover certain costs incurred in enforcing a judgment. The judgment creditor is also entitled to claim 10% simple interest on the principal amount of the judgment. Costs must be added to the judgment within two years of incurring them. Interest may be added at any time.
Accumulated costs and interest are added to the judgment by filing a Memorandum of Costs After Judgment, Acknowledgment of Credit, and Declaration of Accrued Interest (MC-012)PDF with the clerk. Complete the form and have it sent by first class mail or served personally on the judgment debtor by a non-party to the action who is at least 18 years of age.  After serving the judgment debtor, file the original with the clerk.

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This might be of interest. This is a quote from @RyanEX who is from California.

" I initially downloaded judgment forms from the state, which I filed at the court house. First few attempts were rejected, I don't remember why but I remember the clerks were mostly unhelpful (they didn't understand a pro se attempting to obtain a costs a from a JDB after a dismissal); I had to walk them through the civil code that described it. Eventually one of them suggested I look up "Judgment of Dismissal"; I found an example online and typed it up on pleading paper. Per advice from someone on the board, I addressed it directly to the judge (so as to bypass his clerk) for his signature and included a self addressed stamped envelope. I got it back a few weeks later, forwarded a copy to JDB and got my check".

"I could have waited on pursuing a judgment & simply asked the JDB to send me payment for my costs, but i guess I just felt like getting the judgment. I occasionally look up my name in the system and review the case and it still brings a smile to my face to see the line with the entry of judgment. Totally worth the effort for me".

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BySXxIwHA4lVclpKU1czWFpnQms/view?usp=sharing&resourcekey=0-UYqONg6-k65z_0jWRYmgYA

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14 minutes ago, HueyPilot said:

This might be of interest. This is a quote from @RyanEX who is from California.

" I initially downloaded judgment forms from the state, which I filed at the court house. First few attempts were rejected, I don't remember why but I remember the clerks were mostly unhelpful (they didn't understand a pro se attempting to obtain a costs a from a JDB after a dismissal); I had to walk them through the civil code that described it. Eventually one of them suggested I look up "Judgment of Dismissal"; I found an example online and typed it up on pleading paper. Per advice from someone on the board, I addressed it directly to the judge (so as to bypass his clerk) for his signature and included a self addressed stamped envelope. I got it back a few weeks later, forwarded a copy to JDB and got my check".

"I could have waited on pursuing a judgment & simply asked the JDB to send me payment for my costs, but i guess I just felt like getting the judgment. I occasionally look up my name in the system and review the case and it still brings a smile to my face to see the line with the entry of judgment. Totally worth the effort for me".

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BySXxIwHA4lVclpKU1czWFpnQms/view?usp=sharing&resourcekey=0-UYqONg6-k65z_0jWRYmgYA

Thank you so much for all of your help!

I found the page about collecting a judgement that is applicable to my county.

They are in another state, but their bank has locations here. From what I've read so far, I should be good to do a levy by serving a branch here if they don't pay within 30 days.


I plan on letting sleeping dogs lie. They didn't show up for court although they were properly served in time.

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First thing is to lay low for the next 30 days so that they don't realize that there is a storm coming and try to appeal. After that initial 30 days is up, send a demand letter for payment within 30 days. That will give them a total of 60 days to pay up before you take the gloves off.

If they don't pay after that, what you do depends in the type of business it is. If it is a service or type of business that is primarily paid by check where the customers don't visit and pay at the time of service, a bank levy would be your best bet because that is where the cash is. If it is a type of business where customers do their purchases onsite (usually with cash), then a till tap might be your best way to get them to notice. No business likes that want a sheriff officer sitting there taking money from their registers while their customers are shopping.

A third angle, especially if the business is well known, is to seize company assets with the news cameras in tow. People did that to banks during the financial crisis when the banks violated RESPA and were caught on it. You can find Youtube videos on that.

Note that all collections fees can be added to the judgement for the above methods (at least, that is the case in Minnesota. I would check California law to make sure but I believe it would be the same).

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5 hours ago, WhoCares1000 said:

First thing is to lay low for the next 30 days so that they don't realize that there is a storm coming and try to appeal. After that initial 30 days is up, send a demand letter for payment within 30 days. That will give them a total of 60 days to pay up before you take the gloves off. That's the plan. But not for the demand letter. By then I can have the bank levy done since it can take a few weeks after I submit the writ

If they don't pay after that, what you do depends in the type of business it is. If it is a service or type of business that is primarily paid by check where the customers don't visit and pay at the time of service, a bank levy would be your best bet because that is where the cash is. If it is a type of business where customers do their purchases onsite (usually with cash), then a till tap might be your best way to get them to notice. No business likes that want a sheriff officer sitting there taking money from their registers while their customers are shopping. That's the plan after the first 30 days. I have a check from them, so I know at least one bank they use. I am hoping that makes this easy.

A third angle, especially if the business is well known, is to seize company assets with the news cameras in tow. People did that to banks during the financial crisis when the banks violated RESPA and were caught on it. You can find Youtube videos on that. They are in another state, but from my reading last night I can do a bank levy on their accounts from here. I'd rather just get my money quietly and let them curse me from afar. Eyes on the prize.

Note that all collections fees can be added to the judgement for the above methods (at least, that is the case in Minnesota. I would check California law to make sure but I believe it would be the same).

I want to make sure I cross all my Ts and dot all my Is on that. Any fees I may not be thinking about? I know the ones for the Sheriff's Department, process server, etc. And I know how to calculate each and every day of interest.
 

Has anyone used an attorney to do this? Since it's on their dime, is there any reason why I shouldn't?

 

Thank you for your reply.

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