Settlement Prior to Hearing
If settlement is made prior to the hearing date you should contact the court and advise them that you want to dismiss the case.
You should come prepared with all pleadings supporting your claim and any witnesses you may have. Each party will have an opportunity to present his/her case. The plaintiff presents first. The defendant will then have an opportunity to tell the judge / magistrate why he/she feels the money is not owed. After all testimony is given and evidence has been presented, the judge/magistrate will render his/her decision.
Collection of Judgement
The responsibility of collection is yours, not the courts. Available remedies for collection are as follows
The court encourages the parties to agree among themselves as to how a judgment is to be paid. If a lump sum is not possible, a written agreement of installment payments is an option.
A garnishment may not be issued to enforce a judgment until 21 days have expired from the date of the judgment. The garnishment is served on the person or business having possession of the monies (known as the garnishee). Income from welfare, unemployment, social security, etc., cannot be garnished. The following is required to file a Writ of Garnishment:
- The name of the garnishee
- The address of the garnishee
- Filing fee of $15
- Service fee of $33***
The garnishee has 14 days after they are served with the garnishment to let you, the court, and the defendant know if any money is owed. In the case of wages, you are not entitled to the entire paycheck, only a portion that is determined by federal formula.
If you do not have sufficient information to file a garnishment, such as employment information or bank accounts, you may file a Judgment / Debtor Discovery Subpoena to obtain this information to file a garnishment. The subpoena must name an individual, not a business, who will be ordered into court for questioning as to their assets. There is a $15 filing fee and $33 service fee for the discovery subpoena.
Satisfaction of the Judgment
Once you have received full payment of the judgment, you must file a Satisfaction of Judgment Form available at the court office to close the matter.