What are my rights if a magistrate ordered the defendant to pay damages,but they have not yet paid me?

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What are my rights if a magistrate ordered the defendant to pay damages,but they have not yet paid me?

My golden retriever was attacked on my property by a loose pitbull. The owner was found guilty on all accounts, and ordered to pay fines and vet bills. I have not received any money. What can I do to collect the money? The dog owner does not own the property, but lives with a family member that owns the house, he does however own a pretty fancy Cadillac. Can the home owner be held responsible for this at all??

Asked on September 25, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Here lies the problem: did you sue the homeowner based upon any theory of liability or negligence in the court case?  Probably not and probably because he had no liability on the matter.  You would have to have proven that he knew or should have known the propensity of the dog to act like he did and it would be a stretch for a Judge to "impute" that knowledge to someone other than the owner without a LOT of evidence.  So the owner of the land is out. As for the dog owner, you are going to have to reduce the order to a judgement and then execute on the judgement.  Levying against property (the Cadillac) is one way.  Attaching bank accounts or garnishing wages is another way.  Go down to the clerk's office where the order awarding you the money was rendered and ask what you need to do to get an actual judgement.  They are often helpful.  Good luck. 


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