I have a divorce agreement that my ex is supposed to pay me a certain settlement amount, made payable over 5 years in monthly payments. This was in 2011. I brought him back to court in 2012, for failure to do so. The judge made it a judgment (this is in circuit court) and gave him 30 days to pay $1k of it or he'd be found to be in contempt. He never paid. I took him back to court and I was reprimanded by the judge for 'wasting' her time. She found him in contempt, but dismissed the complaint. The judgment still stands. She told me I needed to move the issue to District Court.
My question is - how do I do that? He has worked on and off since 2011, and I do not know where he is currently working (otherwise, I'd file for a wage garnishment). The clerk told me to file to bring him back to court (district) and ask him questions to find out where he is working and how he plans to pay me. So what do I need to do? Register the circuit court judgment in district court, then file for an oral exam to find where he is working, then file a wage garnishment? This is in Howard County. Thank you!
2 Answers from Attorneys
You can do garnishment and post-judgment collections in circuit court. If you know where he banks you can file attachments against any accounts. You can also schedule an oral asset exam with a master and list documents that he is required to bring to court and turn over to you (bank records, pay stubs, etc.). You ought to consider letting an attorney who specializes in collections handle this for you, since you're not familiar with the process.
At the risk of saying the judge is wrong, well I'll say it "the judge is wrong" (or at least is would appear based on what you stated in your question.) It takes an attorney like myself to address this sort of issue. There are a couple of actions that you could take and these depend on the facts of your case. It might be a good start for you to send me an email with details such as the agreement, the case number, where he works, a schedule showing payments made and missed and a chronology of actions you have taken since the divorce was granted. There are a couple of methods to acquire legal services and I can discuss them with you.
Kindly go to the "Maryland Case Search" and review the docket for case number 03C97007662. This is a case where I represented an individual like your ex-husband and successfully kept him out of jail for non-payment. Should you follow the entire docket, it appears that my client didn't take advantage of the "avoid jail" card as he subsequently found himself there.