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Collecting on a civil suit award?
Posted by: lost in space
Date: October 04, 2019 07:48PM
To keep this from going to the other side, I'll keep this like, "I have this friend who . . . "

In a civil suit, this person was awarded damages far in excess of their ability to pay. What happens in a case like this? Does the awardee just hope for the best? Does the court attach wages? How does this work?



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Re: Collecting on a civil suit award?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: October 04, 2019 08:22PM
first thing is if they have any property/real estate, file a lien on it.
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Re: Collecting on a civil suit award?
Posted by: btfc
Date: October 04, 2019 10:13PM
You pay lawers and accountants to chase down all theit assets, and go back to court to try to collect.
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Re: Collecting on a civil suit award?
Posted by: RgrF
Date: October 05, 2019 02:17AM
They can bring the judgment debtor to court to answer as to their ability to pay.
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Re: Collecting on a civil suit award?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: October 05, 2019 07:23AM
If the defendant has no assets, the plaintiff is out of luck.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Collecting on a civil suit award?
Posted by: MarkD
Date: October 05, 2019 09:13AM
The remedies depend on the state and what the damages consist of--personal injury, etc. A good place to look at if your friend does not want to talk to a lawyer, google debt collections in your state or look at Nolo Press. Big states have more items out on the market than smaller states. Look for law school materials/law schools or the state law library or a public law library or large public library. Ask at a reference desk at a public library for sources of information on collecting judgments. They will tell you they can't give advice--tell them you are not asking for advice just materials to help you collect your judgment in your state. Many times the defendant is judgment proof and the debt uncollectable.
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Re: Collecting on a civil suit award?
Posted by: PeterW
Date: October 05, 2019 10:11AM
Obviously, your friend had a lawyer at some point since you can’t get a judgement without one. It should have been his responsibility to make sure there were assets to back up the judgement. No sense in suing a deadbeat or getting a $1,000,000 judgement against somebody living in his car (unless it’s a Ford GT40 or ‘54 Ferrari).
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Re: Collecting on a civil suit award?
Posted by: lost in space
Date: October 05, 2019 11:09AM
Thanks, all!



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Re: Collecting on a civil suit award?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: October 05, 2019 03:48PM
I once had a judgement against a construction contractor my company subcontracted to. I knew where they banked from previous payments. But I couldn’t get any money from that account because the contractor had a zero balance account:

“ZERO BALANCE CHECKING
Best suited for businesses that maintain multiple accounts. A balance of zero is maintained by automatically transferring funds from a master account daily to cover items presented.”

The contractor had another account at the bank in a name other than that on my judgement which was the ‘master account’ and I couldn’t touch the master account without getting another judgement - and the contractor would simply have opened a new master account in a new corporate name. I eventually filed against the bond on the construction project and got all my money save what I paid a lawyer for my original judgement.

There are less than reputable doctors whose fees are paid to a third party making the doctors judgement-proof. People who know what they are doing can always hide their money.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/05/2019 03:50PM by Speedy.
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