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Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41031
Experience:  30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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I just won a judgment in small claims court. Can you answer

Customer Question

I just won a judgment in small claims court. Can you answer a collection question
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Caifornia
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: California
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

What collection questions can I help you with here.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I just won a small claims judgement for &9,875. The defendant does not own property or have an income. He has an open Worker's Comp Case (filed 7/2011)and has just filed for an "expedited trial" I think he may be awarded a large sum for "damages". Can I ask the court to authorize a lien against this case and have the amount he owes me skimmed off the top before he receives his award?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Please review above paragraph
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Sorry - first sentence above should read $ 9,875.00.
Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

You have a couple of options.Normally you do a debtors exam, he is noticed to appear you can ask about assets especially bank accounts and numbers under oath. You could ask the debtor here under oath about he workers comp case and see whether the court would intervene and order the comp suit attached here and paid into registry of court.

I would do this as part of debtor's exam because you need more information here about where suit it, case name, case umber, court , etc.Go back to your court here and ask about setting a debtors exam hearing.

Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

Self help for that

If he doesn't appear here court issue warrant and he gets picked up and held in jail until judge can hear this.

I appreciate the chance to help you here.Good luck with all of this.

Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

Form here you use to schedule this.

Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

To request a debtor's examination

  1. Fill out and file an Application and Order to Produce Statement of Assets and to Appear for Examination (Form SC-134) and attach a blank Judgment Debtor's Statement of Assets (Form SC-133).
  2. Also fill out a Small Claims Subpoena for Personal Appearance and Production of Documents at Trial or Hearing and Declaration (Form SC-107) for any of the debtor's documents that you need to see.
  3. Take these forms to your court clerk to file and get a hearing date.
  4. Once you file, have a registered process server or the sheriff/marshal serve a copy of Form SC-134, the blank Form SC-133, and Form SC-107 on the debtor.

If you can positive rate 5 stars when we are done it is much appreciated.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I am planning on returning to court and asking for a Debtors exam. But I guess simple question becomes:
"Do you know if large sum workers comp settlements in the state of California are fair targets for judgment collection?"
I.e. can I ask the court to freeze the sum due?
Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

Yes you can do so here.You would need to gather the specific information and ask court to hold settlement--pay it into registry of court.You can garnish his bank account here too.

Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

I need to supplement here not sure if this is possible

California Garnishment Exemptions

California garnishment law is complex. Any specific questions regarding California garnishment exemptions, or other areas of garnishment law in California should be directed to a California wage garnishment attorney.

However, under California law, the following types of income are usually not subject to wage garnishment:

  • Public and private retirement benefits (such as IRAs and 401Ks)
  • Most forms of public assistance, including unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits, county assistance, student financial aid, and union benefits
  • Insurance benefits, including payments received from life and homeowners insurance policies
  • Under federal law, Social Security benefits are exempt from garnishment (except in cases of debts owed to the federal government, such as delinquent taxes, and garnishments for overdue child support)
Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

But you can garnish bank accounts.WC seems to be exempt as per the law above.