Providence, RI asked in Civil Litigation for Rhode Island

Q: The person who was paying me restitution died still owing me $3200. What are my rights now?

I have a Judgement of Civil Liability dated May 2023, since she didn't make all her payments in the allotted time, yet I have not been able to find her to enforce it. I have recently learned she passed away. Am I able to put a lien on her estate?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: In Rhode Island, if a debtor owing restitution passes away, the debt becomes a claim against their estate. Since you have a Judgement of Civil Liability, you have a legal basis to pursue this claim.

To enforce the judgment, you should file a claim with the executor or administrator of the deceased person's estate as soon as possible. The process involves submitting documentation of the judgment and the amount still owed to the estate's representative. This claim must be filed within the time frame set by the state's probate laws.

It's also advisable to seek legal assistance to navigate the probate process and ensure that your claim is properly presented and considered. An attorney can help you understand the specific procedures and deadlines involved in making a claim against an estate in Rhode Island. Remember, the estate must go through probate before any debts or liabilities are settled, so understanding this process and your rights within it is crucial.

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