Thank you...I appreciate the additional information! Since they will not pay you voluntarily, you will need to file suit against them. Since the amount is in excess of the small claims
court limit, you would need to file this in a state civil district court
. You can represent yourself, but it's probably easier if you get an attorney to help you. Filing the suit itself is not expensive and my experience in these type cases is that this is all you will need do. It's amazing what getting served with a summons will do to cause someone to pay you what is owed. If your contract provides for the prevailing party to be awarded legal fees, you can recover those as well. Under my terms of service with JustAnswer, I'm not allowed to make a specific recommendation, but I can give you direction. You would want to either contact the state bar association or your nearest law school for a referral. I prefer the latter because they take great pride in their graduates and will take a more personal interest in making sure your referral is a good one because it will be a reflection of the school.
If the defendant doesn't pay you prior to the hearing, the hearing will give you the results you are seeking. That's because once the suit is filed and a judgment awarded, you become a judgment creditor
, and if the losing party doesn’t then pay the judgment, you can have the sheriff serve a summons on the losing party for a debtor examination. That forces the losing party to meet the judgment creditor in court and answer questions under oath about the losing party's assets. After that information is obtained, the judgment creditor has the power to attach bank accounts, have the sheriff seize other personal property, and/or place liens on any non-homestead property to satisfy the judgment.
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