Saint Augustine, FL asked in Small Claims for Florida

Q: What is the procedure after you loose in small claims ? How does the winner collect the money ?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: If you are sued in small claims court and the plaintiff is awarded a money judgment against you, you have 30 days to either pay or appeal. If you don't do that (or if you file an appeal without obtaining a stay), you will likely be required to complete what's called the Fact Information Sheet to disclose details about your assets and income, including your bank account information, so that the plaintiff can seek writs (a type of order) from the court that would require your bank to turn over money in your account, and/or your employer to turn over a portion of your wages out of each paycheck, and/or to have the sheriff seize an item of personal property, such as your vehicle, to be sold at public auction. HOWEVER, the law provides certain protections to certain categories of people, protecting them from these types of execution-on-judgment proceedings. If the law happens to provide protection(s) to you, the judgment debtor, you would need to file appropriate pleadings with the court to avail yourself of such protection(s), should the plaintiff decide to initiate post-judgment collection proceedings. Also, in some circumstances, you may be relieved of a judgment debt by filing for bankruptcy (which usually is not a worthwhile option for a small claims judgment). Bottom line: if the judgment debt is a big problem for you, consult an attorney.

Terrence H Thorgaard agrees with this answer

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