Utica, NY asked in Civil Litigation for New York

Q: I sued a home inspector in Madison County, NY and won. He then appealed but his appeal was denied.

What are the steps I need to take to get the judgment as he is not paying voluntarily. Thank you

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1 Lawyer Answer
Daniel Michael Luisi
Daniel Michael Luisi
  • Licensed in New York

A: Your options are found under Article 52 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, which contains most of the judgment enforcement devices in New York. The most common devices are bank levies and wage garnishments. These procedures involve you preparing paperwork called an "execution levy," and delivering this paperwork to the County Sheriff whose jurisdiction covers where the defendant's property is located. There is also the option to put a lien on any real estate owned by the defendant, and in some situations, to initiate a judgment lien foreclosure sale of his property: though for a small claims judgment, it probably would not be worth the cost of the Sheriff's poundage fees. If the defendant owns a business, there is another execution device under Article 52 called the "till tap", where you direct the sheriff to essentially walk into the defendant's business and empty the cash register to satisfy the judgment. If you have an attorney, one common tactic is to subpoena the defendant to attend a post-judgment deposition, where he will be examined under oath in a law office, a transcript will be prepared, and he will have to produce all documentation as to the location of his assets. All of these options must be executed properly to succeed. Alternatively, you can consider selling the judgment to a debt buyer, such as judgment marketplace, if you do not have the time, energy, or money to handle enforcement on your own.

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