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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 38452
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I have a judgement against someone for 50k, he has one

Customer Question

I have a judgement against someone for 50k, he has one against me for 10k. Can the court wipe away his judgement as payment toward mine? If so, how?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Oregon
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: He put a lien on my property and left the country. Has all his assets in a family trust
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I don't know how to find him, he works as a programmer from his home. Last I knew he lived in Costa Rica. I had a lien on his house in Bingen, Wa, it went in to foreclosure and I don't know what happened to my lien
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 months ago.

Hello,

Yes, it's possible under the doctrine of "equitable setoff" for a court to declare one judgment partially satisfied by the satisfaction of another judgment.

I need to do a little research on this issue, because the procedure isn't clear. Please give me until this evening to get back to you.

Thanks for using Justanswer!

Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 months ago.

Hey, I'm back. I found the procedure, already!

You can file a "Motion to compel satisfaction of judgment through setoff." The precedent Oregon case is: Ketcham v. Selles, 772 P.2d 419, 96 Or. App. 121 (Ct. App. 1989).

If you need assistance drafting the motion, I will send you a premium services offer, and we can take the discussion offline.

If not, then I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.

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Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 months ago.

Hello again,

I see that you have reviewed my answer, but that you have not provided a rating. Do you need any further clarification concerning my answer, or is everything satisfactory?

If you need further clarification, concerning this matter, please feel free to ask. If not, I would greatly appreciate a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) – otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.

Thanks again for using Justanswer!

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Can you tell me if I can file this myself, and does this person I'm seeking the set off from have to be notified or served? I have no way to contact him and don't know where he is.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 months ago.

Yes, you can file yourself.

Yes, the judgment debtor must be served. If he has removed from the USA, then service becomes more difficult, but not impossible.

Also, you mentioned that this person's assets are tied up in a trust. There are very, very few trust forms that cannot be defeated, as long as the trustee is located within the USA.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.

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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
That's a huge problem because he drained and closed all bank accounts and move to Costa Rica last I heard. Can I serve the attorney that represented him?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Also, it he can't be found, can't a judge authorized the off set based on the judgement itself?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 months ago.

Sure, you can serve the judgment debtor's attorney. But, whether or not the court will find that service effective notice for due process is uncertain. It may be less costly to serve the attorney and let him/her explain why service is ineffective due process, than to research the issues in advance and try to determine if service would be effective.

The same answer extends to the judge's authority. Without effective notice, the judge cannot make an setoff order.

Your choice is to hire a lawyer to carefully research the entire issue in advance, or simply move forward, try to get a setoff order, and see how your adversary's counsel responds. Once an attorney can read the opposition pleading, that may narrow the focus and make research more fruitful.

Note: I'm not trying to dodge your questions. Due process issues are always uncertain, and it would be incompetent for me to answer with a simple "yes" or "no," because the case facts and procedural status will make a difference to the court's ruling.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.

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Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 months ago.

Hello again,

I see that you have reviewed my answer, but that you have not provided a rating. Do you need any further clarification concerning my answer, or is everything satisfactory?

If you need further clarification, concerning this matter, please feel free to ask. If not, I would greatly appreciate a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) – otherwise, the website retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.

Thanks again for using Justanswer!

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I just don't understand why something so cut and dry, (court judgments) requires service when the person disappeared on purpose to avoid being served and can't be found. Seems there has to be some kind of provision in the law, like publicly posting in the news paper, or serving at his last known address. He's been gone since 2008 and I haven't been able to find him. He writes programming and can work any where in the world that has internet. I'm selling my home and it's not fair he should get his 10k when he owes me 50k. And how would he get the funds any way if no one can find him? How does the title company find him? I assume it would be held in escrow until he claimed it? And would I be notified before he claimed it so I could file to stop it?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 months ago.

You can purchase a bond from a surety company and record it with the county to cover the value of the judgment. That will permit you to sell the house free of any judgment lien, because the bond will protect the buyer of the property, if your adversary decides to try to foreclose the lien and sell the property after you sell it to a third party.

Concerning your other questions, yes, you can sometimes serve notice by publication, but, in a foreign nation, that nation's laws affect the requirements of service. There are other options that could permit you to serve notice on the attorney of record, but as previously explained, I would need to review the case file and conduct additional research to determine if any of those options would satisfy due process.

I've really provided everything that I can in this forum. Justanswer Q&A sessions are intended to answer general questions about the law. Providing specific legal advice about a person's case is prohibited by the website, and by the law of every U.S. jurisdiction -- which is why I sent the premium services offer.

Bot***** *****ne, if you want your money, you'll have to hire legal representation, unless you want to spend a week in the public law library trying to figure out precisely how to serve your opponent in accordance with due process.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.

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Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 months ago.

Hello again,

I see that you have reviewed my answer, but that you have not provided a rating. Do you need any further clarification concerning my answer, or is everything satisfactory?

If you need further clarification, concerning this matter, please feel free to ask. If not, I would greatly appreciate a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) – otherwise, the website retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.

Thanks again for using Justanswer!

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