Judgment Debtor Hearing
If you win your case, the money the court awards you is the Judgment. You are the Judgment Creditor. The person who owes you money is the Judgment Debtor.
If you don’t know what assets the Debtor has, you can ask for a Judgment Debtor Hearing. At the hearing, you can ask questions about the debtor’s job, bank account, home, car, and other assets. For a list of questions to ask, print a Judgment Debtor Questionnaire to take with you to the hearing. This information helps you decide where to send the Sheriff to collect your money.
Requesting a Judgment Debtor Hearing
Information the Debtor should bring to court
You want the Judgment Debtor to bring financial information that will help you collect your money.
Here are examples of what you should ask the Debtor to bring to court:
To order the Debtor to bring this information, you should subpoena the information from them.
Getting a Subpoena
A Subpoena Duces Tecum orders the Debtor to bring financial information to court. To get a subpoena:
If the Debtor lives far away
If the Debtor lives more than 150 miles away from the court where the judgment was entered, you must request a hearing at a court in the county where the Judgment Debtor lives. Contact a Small Claims Advisor to find out the procedure.
At the hearing, you question the Debtor about his job, bank account, home, car, and other assets. You can have an attorney represent you at the hearing if you wish. The hearing is not recorded, so be prepared to write down the information you get.
After the hearing
Use the information to have the Sheriff collect your judgment. If you did not get information that will help you collect your money, you can try again. You are allowed to ask for a Judgment Debtor hearing every 120 days.
If the Debtor does not come to court
If the Judgment Debtor fails to appear, you can ask the Judge to issue a bench warrant. A bench warrant orders the Judgment Debtor to be arrested if the police stop him. You must pay the Sheriff a fee to issue the bench warrant.
Contact us for more information or speak with one of our counselors at (800) 593-8222. If you live outside of Southern California, call us at (213) 974-9759.
Updated August 11, 2008
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