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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10238
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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I won a small claims lawsuit in California and noticed when

Customer Question

I won a small claims lawsuit in California and noticed when I went to the court website, it states 'Notice of Entry of Judgement Returned' 'Unable to forward' for the defendant. Since the defendant did not receive the sc-133 form of statement of assets - what are my options? Do I try to have a copy of the judgment served on them?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 12 months ago.

Start by making sure you have the defendant's proper address (you want to ensure that your judgment is not going to be set aside later on because you served your small claims complaint on the wrong address).

Hire a process server to do a "skip trace" on your defendant - they can both confirm the address, and if necessary serve the SC-133, and file a proof of service with the court.

Assuming you have the right address, and there is no problem with your judgment, you can then take steps to enforce your judgment:

http://www.courts.ca.gov/1014.htm

If somehow you did have the wrong address, you will want to confirm that you properly served the defendant with the complaint (check very carefully to ensure that the defendant was properly served: http://www.courts.ca.gov/9742.htm

Again, assuming that the defendant was properly served, but they simply moved - go ahead and start enforcing your judgment.

If you have the wrong address, and you did not properly serve the complaint at the start of your suit, you are going to need to start all over. (If the defendant appeared in court and defended the action, you don't need to worry about this - they appeared and service of process will not be an issue!!).

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Thank you.The defendant was served at their work previously and the office has since moved. I don't know the address to the new office and I don't know where they live. I sued the company and the owners but only won against the owner.Must serve a SC-133 before I can ask for them to appear for examination and have a Sheriff serve a EJ-125?
Since they did appear - can the judgement still be set aside later on because the 'Notice of Entry of Judgement' was returned and I am unable to locate them to serve them the judgement and sc-133?Thanks for your time.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 12 months ago.

No, they cannot set the judgment aside (they showed up - which is good news for you, it means the judgment is solid).

Hire a process server to help you track them down - it costs a little bit of money, but you can ask the court to add this as a cost to your post-judgment collections. The process server can also serve the other documents for you (so you don't have to pay the Sheriff on top of the process server).

If you cannot find a process server yourself (they are usually relatively easy to find with a quick internet search), contact your local (county) bar association and ask for referrals.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Great - thanks for your help.I did read on multiple sites only a Sheriff can serve a Notice For Examination. Is this accurate?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 12 months ago.

No, a process server can do this for you as well. (As can anyone, not a party to the action, that is over the age of 18). However, my personal preference is to utilize a professional process server.

(See: http://cc-courthelp.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.ViewPage&pageId=4785)