Collecting your money in a small claims suit
If you are successful in obtaining a judgment, you are not assured collection. You have the responsibility of pursuing the matter. Customary methods of collection are:
- Payment of Judgment If the defendant pays the total amount of the judgment, the plaintiff must immediately file a "Satisfaction of Judgment" form.
- Discovery If the defendant completes the "Affidavit of Judgment Debtor" form and the information is not sufficient for collection, the plaintiff may obtain a "Discovery Subpoena". A Discovery Subpoena requires the defendant to appear at the court to be questioned or examined under oath about his/her assets. The cost is $15.00 for filing plus a service fee.
- Garnishment If you have reason to believe that a third party is holding money or owes money to the defendant, you may file an "Affidavit for Writ of Garnishment". The cost for filing is $15.00 plus a service fee.
- Execution A defendant's property, which is not exempt under the law, can be used to satisfy a judgment by filing a "Writ of Execution". The cost of filing is $15.00 plus a service fee.
- Suspension of Drivers License If your Small Claims case involves a traffic accident, ask the court clerk for details regarding suspension of the defendant's drivers license.