One post-judgment discovery tool that is extremely useful is a Request
for Production of Documents and Things. This request is often referred
to as a Subpoena Duces Tecum. The purpose of implementing this tool
is to more thoroughly locate and analyze the judgment debtor’s
assets. It is vital for a judgment creditor to know whether the judgment
debtor has the ability to satisfy the judgment. The debtor will likely
attempt to hide the truth about the existence of his assets and his
ability to to pay the money judgment.
By utilizing this type of subpoena the debtor can
be legally commanded to bring documents or other tangible things
to be examined by the creditor. The things that the creditor directs
the debtor to bring are things that will shed light on the debtor’s
assets. The debtor is summoned to produce the evidence as required
or be penalized by the court for failure to do so. The judgment
debtor will usually think twice about running the risk of being
charged with contempt for failure to thoroughly respond to this
type of subpoena.
Among the items that I typically would ask to be
produced would include any of the following things:
Current Financial Statements
Recent Tax Returns
Records of All Business and Personal Property
Credit Card Statements (Business and Personal)
If a debtor is not forthcoming in producing the
requested information, documents, or things, then the information
may be obtained by issuance of a Subpoena Duces Tecum upon 3rd parties.
This can also include spouses, attorneys, and accountants even in
spite of claims of privilege.
To properly apply this type of post judgment discovery
tool can be tricky. One would be wise to become thoroughly familiar
with the rules and procedures that apply in the particular jurisdiction
involved. Legal advice from a judgment attorney would certainly
Knowing how to discover assets is a big part of
knowing how to enforce my judgment successfully.