Request for Production of Documents and Things

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

Bank Statements

Investment Statements

Credit Applications

Notes Receivable

Records of All Business and Personal Property

Title Documents

Insurance Policies

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 help.

Knowing how to discover assets is a big part of knowing how to enforce my judgment successfully.

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