Can you collect a judgement from the owner of a business if the business was a sole prop or partnership?
I did not name the owner as a defendant, can I still collect directly from him?
2 attorney answers
Maybe, maybe not. The whole point of any corporate form (s-corp, c-corp, LLC, LLP . . .) is to protect the owners from liability. While it is possible to amend a judgment to reach the principal of a company as an "alter-ego" it is rare, and there are things you have to prove. At base, whatever you proved was against was against a company, not a person. You can't collect against that person without that person having a chance to defend themselves.
For instance, members of a defunct corporation may simply let a lawsuit default a corporation with no assets. And letting a corporation go bankrupt is a completely reasonable business decision in may situations. That doesn't mean the principals are liable. If your judgment is a default, this will be an uphill battle. You should have sued the individual along with the company and alteregos. This is not intuitive for the lay person, but it is a very good reason to have a lawyer. Get one if you want any chance at amending a judgment to include an alterego.
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