How do I collect ona small claims judgement?

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How do I collect ona small claims judgement?

My last employer did not pay me my wages for 2 1/2 months. I took him to small claims court but he didn’t show so I automatically won. My problem is Ido not know how to collect what I’m owed. I’m being told that I need to put a lien on him but I don’t know if it’s worth it or if there is an easier way to collect what’s owed? I’m tired of the runaround; I just want my money.

Asked on January 23, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

One option is to put a lien on any real property the employer owns; another way to levy on one of its bank accounts, which means to have the bank send you money from the account. You could also potentially execute on property, or have the sheriff (or other court officer) seize some of the employer's belongings and sell them to pay you. Contract the court to find out your options for collections--either in person or on-line, you should be able to get sample forms and instructions.

While the procedures vary by state, in NJ, for example, you would start by serving on the employer what is known as an "informational subpoena," or a document requiring the employer to list assets, income, bank accounts, etc. If the employer refuses to complete and return it, you could ask the court to issue an order directing the sheriff to arrest him.

Once you have the information, you then go back to the court seeking the appropriate order--for example, that a bank be directed to send some of the employer's money to you.

If the employer had been a corporation or LLC, you can only collect from the company itself; but if he had been a sole proprietor, you could collect from the owner personally (e.g. put  a lien on his home) as well as from the business.


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