P: 877-628-1286

F: 949.271.4860

Special Procedures In Aid Of Enforcement Of Judgments & Debt

Assignment Order If a judgment debtor has a right to any future payment, a court may assign all or part of it to a judgment creditor.

  • Receiver to Enforce Judgment: The court may appoint a receiver to enforce judgment debt if the the appointment represents a "reasonable method to obtain the fair and orderly satisfaction of the judgment."
  • Creditor's Suit Against 3rd Party: If a third person owns or controls property in which the judgment debtor has an interest (or is indebted to the judgment debtor), the judgment creditor can bring suit against the person to apply the property or debt to the money judgment.
  • Written Interrogatories to Judgment Debtor:A judgment creditor is entitled to serve written interrogatories in order to enforce a money judgment on a judgment debtor in attempt to obtain information that will help collection efforts.
  • Inspection Demand to Judgment Debtor: A judgment creditor may serve an inspection demand on a judgment debtor to obtain information to help enforce a money judgment.
  • Charging Orders Against Debtor Partnership/LLC Interests Assets: in a partnership (general or limited) or limited liability company are not subject to execution unless the judgment is against the partnership or LLC itself. To reach a debtor's partnership or LLC interest, the judgment creditor must obtain a court order charging those interests with the amount of the judgment.
  • Collection of Debts Owed Judgment Debtors by State or Local Public Entities: The EJL contains special claim and deposit procedures enabling judgment creditors to reach debts owed to judgment debtors by state or local public entities. Subject to certain exceptions, these are the only available means to get such funds. Debtor-owed funds held by public entities may not be reached by execution of judgment.
  • Enforcement of Judgment by Assignees: A judgment creditor may assign the judgment to a third person, i.e., the judgment creditor assigns the debt upon which the judgment is based. Through such an assignment, the assignee ordinarily acquires all the rights and remedies possessed by the assignor for the enforcement of the debt, subject to the defenses the judgment debtor had against the assignor.
  • Enforcement Against Joint Debtors: If an action is filed against multiple defendants who are jointly or severally liable on a contract, and not all defendants are served, the plaintiff may proceed against the served defendants as if they were the only defendants.
  • Amending Judgment to Change Name of Judgment Debtor: Sometimes, a judgment debtor changes his or her name after a judgment is entered (e.g., by legal proceedings or merger, or by getting married). When this happens, it might be necessary to amend the judgment accordingly. A California court may use all the means necessary to carry its jurisdiction into effect.
  • Amending Judgment to Add Nonparty Alter Egos as Judgment Debtors: Occasionally, a judgment creditor obtains a judgment against a corporation only to discover later that the corporation has few or no assets and is controlled by a nonparty alter ego. When this happens, the judgment creditor might be able to amend the judgment to add the alter ego as a judgment debtor and enforce the judgment against that debtor (who, presumably, has assets). A California court may use all the means necessary to carry its jurisdiction into effect.
  • Amending Judgment to Add Third Party (Not Alter Ego): Amendments to add a third party judgment debtor may be allowed where necessary to prevent injustice even though alter ego liability is not involved.
  • Enforcement Against Beneficiary's Trust Interests: A judgment debtor's interest as a trust beneficiary is not subject to execution. The judgment debtor's beneficial interest in a private or charitable express trust can only be reached by obtaining a court order.
  • Enforcement Against Nonvested Contingent Interests: Contingent remainders, executory interests and other nonvested property interests held by a judgment debtor may not be reached by execution. However, upon noticed motion, the judgment creditor may obtain an order applying such interests to satisfy a money judgment. The court has discretion to determine the best way to protect both the judgment debtor and creditor – i.e., prevent a sacrifice sale while preserving the creditor's rights. This may include imposing a lien on, or requiring sale of, the judgment debtor's interest.
  • Enforcement Against Revocable Inter Vivos Trust Interest: Property in a revocable inter vivos trust is subject to claims of creditors of the settlor-debtor during the debtor's lifetime to the extent of the debtor's power of revocation. Upon the judgment debtor's death, property held in an inter vivos trust created by the debtor is generally exempt from judgment enforcement under the EJL (e.g., a writ of execution cannot be issued). Instead, the judgment creditor must timely file either (1) a claim in a proceeding initiated by the trustee to administer trust creditor claims (or in the debtor decedent's estate if a California probate proceeding is pending), or (2) if no trust or probate proceeding is initiated, an action against the decedent's beneficiaries.
  • Enforcement Against Property in Guardianship or Conservatorship Estate: Property in a guardianship or conservatorship estate is not subject to any procedure for enforcement of a money judgment. But if the guardian or conservator refuses or fails to pay the judgment, the judgment creditor can petition the court having jurisdiction over the guardianship or conservatorship for an order requiring payment. After the judgment creditor dies, the judgment may be enforced under normal applicable procedures by the judgment creditor's executor, administrator or successor in interest.