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Civil Collections

It is your responsibility, not the Court’s, to collect on any judgment you have been awarded. However, the fact that you have a valid judgment grants you access to additional methods of collection that you would not have otherwise. 

For more information on collection procedures, see the State Court Administrative Office’s Self Help section here.

Installment Payments:

The Court encourages parties to work out an agreement among themselves on how a judgment is to be paid. If a lump sum payment is impossible, the parties should try to reach an agreement on installment payments. All payments will be made directly to the plaintiff.


If the defendant refuses to voluntarily pay a judgment against him or her, the plaintiff can attempt to compel payment in several different ways. If the plaintiff knows of money belonging to, or due, the defendant (wages, bank accounts, rentals, etc.) the plaintiff may want to file a writ of garnishment to attach this money. A writ of garnishment may not be issued to enforce a judgment until 21 days after the judgment was entered. The garnishment is filed against the person or business having possession of the monies. They are referred to as the garnishee-defendant. Income such as welfare benefits, unemployment benefits, social security benefits, etc. cannot be garnished.

The garnishee-defendant has 14 days from the date they are served with the writ to notify the plaintiff, the court, and the principal defendant whether there are monies owed. In the case of wages, the plaintiff is not entitled to the defendant's entire paycheck, but only a portion of it, as determined by federal law. The plaintiff may have to garnish several pay checks to satisfy a judgment if no other payments are made. The plaintiff must keep accurate records, the court does not. When payment or judgment is satisfied, the plaintiff must notify the court in writing by submitting a Satisfaction of Judgment form (MC17).

For more information on garnishment procedures see the State Court Administrators Office Self Help section here.

Seizure of property:

The plaintiff must wait 21 days from the date the judgment was entered before applying for an order to seize property. The Court will issue the order by signing the form. The request and order to seize property must be served on the person who owes money on the judgment. The order to seize property can only be served (executed) by a court-appointed officer. The court-appointed officer must file reports with the court and notify the parties of all property that is seized and any payments that have been made from that property.

For more information on seizure of property see the State Court Administrators Office Self-help section here.