Can I collecton a judgment if the defendants filed for bankruptcy?

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Can I collecton a judgment if the defendants filed for bankruptcy?

My daughter was injured at a plant nursery by a baby zebra that the owners allowed to roam the property. I tried to go through lawyers only to find out they didn’t have insurance to cover the animal. Finally filed a small claims case against them and won. After not being paid in the 30 days I filed the transcript with superior court and have hit a dead end. Now I’m being told they have filed for bankruptcy. My daughter’s case was never heard, just my emotional distress and medical costs. Can I still collect my judgment and if not can I file a new lawsuit?

Asked on November 10, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your troubles.  First, have you gotten anything from the bankruptcy court as to your judgement being listed by the debtors?  If you have reduced the verdict to a judgement, properly filed and served it then expect that they will indeed list it in their bankruptcy in an attempt to wipe out the debt.  You can not file a new lawsuit for your claims as they have already been heard and decided.  You can file one for your daughter but I would wait until after the bankruptcy so that it is not listed.  Just make sure that you do not run afoul of the statute of limitations.  Good luck.


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