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I have won in small claims, and now need to put a lien on someone. Can I put a lien on an incoming law suit settlement?

Tacoma, WA |

I have won in small claims court against someone in the state of Washington. They get paid under the table (i know this for fact) and they don't have ANYTHING to repossess. But they do have an incoming settlement from a car accident. We do have the same attorney, as I was in this car accident with the person I sued. But the cases are separate. How would I go about putting a lien on the incoming settlement. The settlement just went to mediation and could take another year (I don't mind waiting) But is this legally possible to put a lien on an incoming lawsuit?

Attorney Answers 2


You have your small claims "victory" converted to a judgment and docketed in the county where the other person resides. Ordinarily, you would then serve a certified copy of the judgment with a demand letter on the attorney with instructions that he is not to release any funds until the judgment is paid. Now every state does this differently, I practice only in NY, so you should check with an attorney in your state to see if there is a specific form notice you need to serve, but I submit that an attorney that ignored such a letter and notice would be making a huge mistake.

If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email -

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This varies by jurisdiction. Check with the court administrator in the district where the law suit you wish to attach to is filed. You will need to file a Notice of Lien (with a certified copy of your judgment) with the clerk of the court. Notice of the lien must be served on all the parties who filed an answer to the original complaint in your judgment debtor's lawsuit.

After your debtor's lawsuit is final, the judgment will be ready to be attached. To attach, you must obtain a Writ of Execution from the court. Next, file your judgment lien notice at the court. You may need to go through the Sheriff's office in order for the Sheriff to levy the judgment.

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