Small Claim Information

Before filing your claim, you should have some idea what your chances are of collecting the judgment if you are successful. A judgment does not mean automatic payment. It simply means you have proven to the satisfaction of the court that the person you sued owes you money. There are often cases where a judgment is not particularly difficult to obtain but the collection of money is difficult, if not impossible.

The party you have sued may be penniless or bankrupt; may have gone out of business or left town; may not earn enough for you to garnishee wages; or for other reasons it may be impossible to make the defendant pay. Income such as welfare, unemployment, social security, etc., cannot be garnished. If you cannot collect, a judgment in your favor may turn out to be a hollow victory. However, you do have (6) years to collect and a party's circumstances may change during that time.