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I won a lawsuit in civil court. How can I get someone to pay money they stole from me?

Poughkeepsie, NY |

I contracted a man to put a new roof on my home. He took the down payment and never returned. Now I'm out $4870.32 and accumulated $10K in water damage.

I filed a claim against him in small claims and won my suit. The man did not appear in court to plead his case. I have sent him letters requesting payment and called and left messages. To-date, I haven't heard from him and don't think I will. How do I get my money. I'm out of work and cannot afford a private investigator. It's been seven months now and he thinks he does not owe me.

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Filed under: Small claims court
Attorney answers 1


In many states you may request a debtor's examination. It is generally a closed court room where you are permitted to ask questions regarding his assets. There you may be able to get more information regarding his accounts. In California if a party does not appear for the debtor's examination, the court may issue a bench warrant.

You may also file a writ of execution in the court where you won. If you can get his account information, the sheriff will appear at the bank and drain his account. You may also be able to grnish his wages.

Also, many courts ahve workshops on how to enforce a small claims court judgment. You should think about attending one of those if it is offered.

NOTE: This answer is made available by an attorney licensed to practice in the state of California for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding.

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