Collecting Money from a Judgment

If you sued someone for money and received a judgment against the person, you have the right to collect the money. You can collect the amount stated in your Small Claims Judgment plus any interest that accumulates during the time the other party pays off the judgment.

Methods of Collecting Your Judgment

  • If the other party has the money and is present at the trial he/she can pay you immediately.
  • If he/she does not have the money at that time and you both agree at the hearing, you can set up a payment schedule with the plaintiff.
  • If the defendant is not present at the hearing, the court will send a copy of the small claims judgment to the defendant.  The judgment will order the defendant to pay you in full within 21 days.

Lack of Payment

If the defendant does not pay the judgment as ordered, you will have to collect your money through an execution against property or a garnishment. To get an execution against property or garnishment, you will first need to know:

  • Where the defendant lives and works
  • What assets s/he has and where these assets are located
  • Any other information which identifies the defendant and his/her property

If you have this information, you can start the process called execution against property or garnishment. If you don't have the information, you will need to order the defendant to appear in court or provide the information to you via Discovery Subpoena.