If we have a small claims judgment against someone, how do we get our money if he no longer owns property in our county?

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If we have a small claims judgment against someone, how do we get our money if he no longer owns property in our county?

My husband and I have a $5000 small claims docket against our wedding photographer. Since then he has gotten divorced, moved to CO, and his wife now has the house. How do we go about getting our money if he no longer owns property in our county?

Asked on June 8, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is often said that the hardest part about a judgement is not obtaining it but enforcing it.  I think there was never a more truthful statement made.  First, are you sure that his wife got the house? Have you run a check on the deed?  I might file the judgement anyway against him in the local courthouse just in case.  Then you are going to have to try and enforce the judgement against him on Colorado.  States recognize properly obtained judgements and help to enforce them under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution. So you will have to register the out of state judgement in Colorado.  Each state's laws vary as to same.  Do you know the county in Colorado in which he resides?  Contact the clerk's office there or you may wish to consult with an attorney in that area for a sum certain on how to do it. Then you can collect by any means under Colorado law: wage garnishment, levy on a bank account or personal property - whatever.  Good luck. 


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