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A client did not pay their accrued fees for services rendered. Can I place a lein on their driver's licence?

San Bernardino, CA |

I have already filed against them in court, and they still are not paying.

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Attorney answers 4


No. Judgment enforcement, through suspension of driving privileges, applies only in particular circumstances such as when the judgment is for driving without insurance or for support. In addition, you would need a judgment not merely a court filing.

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You should perform a debtors examination at the court on the individual to determine what:

1. Assets they have and location so you can levy
2. Sources of income that you can garnish/levy.



I agree with the prior responses. The key is that you really can't do anything until you win your lawsuit and get a judgment. Once you have the money judgment, then there are a host of options for you, such as the suggestion to conduct a debtor's exam, record a judgment lien against their property, etc. etc. But the mere filing of the lawsuit doesn't authorize you to do any of that. Anyone can sue anyone else for anything they want at any time. It doesn't mean the lawsuit is valid or that you should be able to put a lien on their property or garnish wages or anything. So, wait to see if you are successful and receive your judgment, then look into the available steps you can take to enforce your judgment.


To add to the other excellent responses, one suggestion is to consider obtaining a Writ of Attachment from the court. This will allow the sheriff to seize assets which will be held pending your obtaining a judgment. This is something that I have done on for my business clients on many ocassions. Obtaining a Writ of Attachment and seizing money (for example in the defendant's business account) can put a lot of pressure on a defendant to settle a dispute right away.

Robert M. Berger is an attorney practicing in Los Angeles, CA focusing on the areas of business, creditor's rights, real estate, construction law and litigation, and, estate planning. You may contact him at (818) 606-1491 or email him at either or The above response does not constitute legal advise.