It is your
responsibility to collect a judgment. Because you have a judgment, you
have ways of collecting that you would not have otherwise.
The court encourages the parties to agree among themselves how a
judgment is to be paid. If a lump sum payment is not possible, try to
reach some agreement on installment payments.
If the defendant will not voluntarily pay the judgment and you know
where money is owed to him/her, such as wages, bank accounts, rentals,
etc. you may want to file a writ of garnishment to attach this money. A
writ of garnishment may not be issued to enforce the judgment until the
expiration of 21 days after it was entered. The garnishment is filed
against the person or business having possession of the monies. They are
referred to as the garnishee defendant. Income such as welfare,
unemployment, social security, etc., cannot be garnished.
Before filing a garnishment for personal wages, you must know: (1) where
the defendant works; (2) how often he/she is paid; and (3) what day of
the week he/she receives his/her check. This will help you decide when
the garnishment should be filed and served on the garnishee defendant.
The garnishee defendant has seven days after service of the writ to let you, the Court, and the principal defendant know if there are available monies. In the case of wages, you are not entitled to the defendant’s entire paycheck; only a portion of it as determined by a federal formula. You may have to garnish several pay checks to satisfy a judgment if no other payments are made. As you are required to sign a sworn affidavit to the truth and correctness of the amount still owing, you must keep accurate records.
When payment of judgment is complete, either in full or to your satisfaction, you must file a satisfaction of judgment with the court.