Collecting From a Small Claims Judgment

If you sued someone for money and received a judgment against that person, you have the right to collect the money.

Get An Execution Against Property Or A Garnishment


To get an execution against property or a garnishment, you will first need to know where the defendant lives and works, what assets s/he has and where these assets are located, and any other information which identifies the defendant and his/her property.

If you have the information described, you can start the process for an execution against property or a garnishment.

If you do not have the information described, you will need to order the defendant to appear in court for questioning through a process called discovery. You can start this process by filing a discovery subpoena.

Filing a Discovery Subpoena


You must wait 21 days after your small claims judgment was signed before you can file a discovery subpoena. Form MC 11, Subpoena (Order to Appear) can be used.

Contact the court for an appearance date before putting the date and location on the form. Complete the front of the Subpoena. The judge must sign the Subpoena before it's effective. Once the Subpoena is signed you must serve it on the defendant.

The fee for filing the Subpoena with the court varies. The cost of serving the Subpoena also varies.

Filing an Execution Against Property


You must wait 21 days after your small claims judgment was signed before you can get an execution against property. Form MC 19, Execution Against Property, is used to start the process. Complete the Request and Verification portion of form MC 19 and file it with the court. The filing fee varies. The court will issue the writ (order) by signing the form, and it will be executed by a sheriff or court officer.


Timeline of Money Received From an Execution Against Property


Any property that is seized will be sold and the money given to you. The sheriff or court officer is entitled to fees which will be deducted from the sale of the property.

Filing a Request For Garnishment


You must wait 21 days after your small claims judgment was signed before you can get a garnishment. Form MC 12 or MC 13, Request and Writ of Garnishment, is used to start the garnishment process.

There are 3 types of garnishment:
  1. Periodic
  2. Non-Periodic
  3. Income Tax

A periodic writ of garnishment (MC 12) is used to garnish the defendant's wages, rent payments, land contract payments, or other debt which is paid to the defendant on a periodic basis. A periodic garnishment is valid for up to 91 days or until the judgment, interest, and costs are paid off, whichever occurs first.

A non-periodic writ of garnishment (MC 13) is used to garnish the defendant's bank account or other property. Once money has been garnished under the nonperiodic writ, the writ is no longer valid. If there is a remaining balance on the judgment, you must get another writ to collect more money.

An income tax writ of garnishment (MC 52) is used to garnish the defendant's income tax refund.

Fill in the names and addresses of both the defendant and the garnishee on the Request part of the form. The garnishee is the person or business who has control or possession of the defendant's money. Once you complete the Request, you must file it with the district court that entered your small claims judgment. The filing fee is $15.

The court will issue the Writ (order) by signing the form. The Request and Writ must be served on the garnishee along with the Disclosure, form MC 14. If the garnishment is for periodic payments, include a $6 disclosure fee with the forms. The cost of serving the Writ varies.