In order to effectively enforce your judgment, you will need to obtain
relevant information regarding your debtor and his/her assets. Discovery
refers to the formal process where you request the relevent information
or documents from your judgment debtor in an attempt to “discover”
pertinent facts. Among the discovery tools that are commonly available
in various court jurisdictions are: interrogatories, depositions,
requests for documents or things to be produced, or permission to
enter upon land or other property for inspection or other purposes.
You need to check with an attorney, or read the rules of procedure
for the particular court in order to find out which methods of post-judgment
discovery are available to you. In my experience, I have found that
some judgment debtors who totally fail to cooperate and who indicate
no willingness to pay their judgment debt, sometimes become very submissive
as soon as they are served with a request for post-judgment discovery.
The realm of information which is obtainable by
the process of Post-Judgment Discovery is normally very broad. It
is usual in many courts for a judgment creditor to be able to use
as many of the methods of discovery as necessary to uncover the
facts about the debtor and debtor’s assets. You can’t
easily collect your judgment if you don’t know what assets
your adversary possesses.
Discovery may be made upon others besides the judgment
debtor. For example, a demand may be made for another person or
organization to produce records or to answer questions about the
debtor and his assets. You may demand that the debtor’s employer
provide employment and payroll records. A financial institution
may be required to provide information on the debtor’s accounts.
The wide range of possibilities for getting to the truth about your
debtor’s hidden assets is very encouraging. Post-judgment
discovery can be very helpful.
If the judgment deadbeat won’t cooperate with
the discovery process, it is certainly a possibility that he can
be charged with contempt of court. Believe me, this will get his
attention fast! He won’t want to be arrested and taken to
It is well worth the time to educate yourself about
the subject of discovery methods. We will have more specific things
to write about this topic shortly. In the mean time, keep reminding
yourself that you deserve to get your money. Justice demands that
you collect your judgment!