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Once a small claims award has been won, is the writ-of garnishment the next step to collecting the judgement?

Olympia, WA |

If yes, should the write-of-judgement, be filed in the civil [district] court or in superior court?

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Attorney answers 3


If you have obtained a judgment, and if the judgment debtor has not paid within 30 days, then a writ of garnishment is one option you can pursue to try to collect on the judgment. You can obtain a writ of garnishment from the district court clerk. You can also transcribe the judgment to superior court and pursue a writ of garnishment there.

I am not your attorney. My response is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.


I agree with Mr. Steinacker, above, but just wanted to add that your overall costs for this matter will be considerably less if you stay in District Court rather than raise this matter up to Superior Court.


I agree with both previous answers.
The key to successful collections is information about a “way to go” from the debtor.
The debtor's income stream from wages or contracts needs to be legally intercepted before the debtor gets his or her hands on the money, or after the debtor puts the money in the bank. From contractual writs, to bank writs and attachments, to wage garnishments and attachments are normal points in the income stream that may be intercepted, extreme points are forced sale of assets like a sheriff’s sale.
Bear in mind that if the debtor is eligible for protection under bankruptcy law that is their “get out of jail free card” and can be played when eligible and you will have to pay back anything that you obtained from 90 days prior. An interesting issues is always the age of the account and fresher is better; when the debt hits the statute of limitations you are done.
Once you have a judgment and you can transcribe the judgment into the jurisdiction where the debtor lives or works you can collect.
If you have a judgment you can conduct supplemental proceedings or a debtor’s examination, or in the alternative, you can send interrogatories to the debtor.
If you suspect the debtor has transferred assets subsequent to your judgment and you can prove it, you have recourse under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act if the act was adopted by your state or the debtor’s state or where the assets are located.
You can also turn your account over to licensed and bonded collection agency for about half of the proceeds or hire a collection lawyer to work the account for a time or a percentage.
I may not practice in your jurisdiction and you should talk with agencies and lawyers in the debtor’s area.
Good Luck
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Only If and until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services, I am not your attorney. These answers are provided for informational and/or novelty purposes