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Can I go to prison due to a civil judgment of 1,200$?

Tampa, FL |

A civil judgment of around $1,200 was just issued against me in New Jersey while I reside in Florida. And I found out this via credit report since the creditor did not have my current address. Will I go to jail if I don't pay? If I contact the creditor and make the payment plans, will the judgment go away from my credit report? And there are around 8 more such creditors who might be in the waiting line to get civil judgments against me. Will filing bankruptcy evict all such previous or future judgments?

Attorney Answers 7


  1. There is no jail for people who owe moneys, so stop worrying about that nonsense. But you may want to talk to an attorney about a bankruptcy and "discharge" your debt legally. You will have a fresh start that bankruptcy law offers qualified people. Use the Attorney finder on Avvo to find an experienced attorney in your area. Good Luck


  2. You cannot go to jail for not paying a civil judgment (other than for a domestic support obligation). If you've got a lot more waiting in the wings, you might want to consider bankruptcy. It will stop most previous and future judgments.

    The legal analysis of any situation depends on a variety of factors which cannot be properly represented or accounted for in a response to an on-line question. Any answer, discussion or information is intended as general information only, is not intended to serve as legal advice or as a substitute for legal counsel, and should not be relied upon in making any decision. If you have a question about a specific factual situation, you should contact an attorney directly.


  3. We rid ourselves of debtor's prisons more than a century again. So, no

    The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to be legal advice.


  4. You cannot be sent to prison simply for owing money to someone.


  5. Not only won't you go to jail, you may have. Had the judgement against you wrongfully. If you can get the court papers, it would be worthwhile steering how it states you were served with the suit.

    On the other hand, with the stress you ars having from a list of creditors wanting payment, I strongly advise you to have a consult with a consumer bankruptcy attorney. I am including a link to the, National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys website.

    The above statements are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended as legal advice or advice of any sort for a specific case or legal matter. If you do not have a signed attorney-client fee agreement with the Hill Country Consumer Law ("the Firm"), then until such written fee agreement is provided and signed by both a prospective client and attorney for a particular case, neither Ms. Kleinpeter nor the Firm will represent you nor will they be your attorney in any matter and you remain responsible for retaining your own attorney and for compliance with any and all deadlines and for any statutes of limitations that may pertain to potential claims.


  6. No. You won't go to jail for a debt. Once you satisfy your judgment, your credit report should reflect that you have satisfied the judgment. You should speak with a bankruptcy lawyer about the rest of your questions. Use Avvo find a lawyer feature to locate one near you.

    The content of the this submission is intended to provide general information on the topic presented, and is offered with the understanding that the author is not rendering any legal or professional services or advice. This submission is not a substitute for legal advice. Should you require such services, retain competent legal counsel.


  7. As everyone else noted, you won't get sent to jail for not paying a debt. I would preface this by saying that I am not licensed in New Jersey...but here in Florida when a judgment is entered against a debtor, it is normal for the debtor to be ordered by the Court to complete a "Fact Information Sheet" and to comply with depositions, etc. all of which is geared to assist the Plaintiff in its collection efforts. If you ignore court orders and don't provide documentation to the Plaintiff's attorney when ordered to do so, you may face "contempt of court" charges which could very well land you in jail. The bottom line is that you should seek counsel in New Jersey with regard to the lawsuit itself, and engage the help of a bankruptcy attorney here in Florida to learn your rights and options in that regard. Good luck.

    This answer is based upon limited information provided by you, and is therefore generic legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You are advised to seek legal counsel for your particular situation.

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