I've won a civil suit against an individual for dumping 50 tons of waste on my commercial property. After being granted a 30 day continuance, he was a no-show in court thus forfeiting his defense. I have finally cleaned it all up and disposed of it properly. I've itemized the expenses and damages. Should I send him (via certified mail) the bill along with the court papers at this point or are there any additional court papers I should obtain and fill out ? Will he be 'served' paperwork? I'm not sure how to collect what is owed to me.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Hope it didn't cost you much to 'win' that civil suit because the reality of it is until you collect on that judgment (assuming you in fact got a judgment) it has about the same worth as used toilet paper. If you did your legal work correctly then you have already verified that the 'individual' has personal non-exempt assets that are seizeable and worth going after - so get to going after them. If you did not do that crucial first step and the individual is judgment proof, you likely wasted your time and money (after jerking you over for 30 days the most likely reason he didn't show up for court is that it wasn't worth his time to defend). Even if he is not judgment proof and does have assets that can be seized, you may want to retain an attorney experienced in collections because now you have to execute on your judgment and there are two ways to do that - the right way and the way people who foolishly choose to do their own legal work do it. If all you do is the text book execution by sending some hayseed deputy out to poke around and see whats whats, virtually anyone with at least a golf ball sized piece of brain would have taken that extra 30 days not to prepare to defend against your mad legal skills but to arrange things so that if you do figure out how to execute that judgment you likely won't get squat. If you insist on doing this yourself and if you haven't done that asset verification - do that now before you potentially waste anymore time and effort. Best of luck.