Cobb County Government

How do I get my Judgment paid?

A judgment is a finding by the Court that one party has a legal obligation to pay the other party a specified amount of money. It may not be redeemed with the Clerk of Court for money nor is it a Court order to pay that money by a date certain. However, the judgment does give you certain rights to try to collect that money from the other side using the assistance of the courts.

 

 

Basic outline of post-Judgment collection procedured (Fees are county-specific)

Writ of Fi.Fa.

A writ of fi.fa. is a document that is issued by the County Clerk’s Office for the purpose of recording a lien on the judgment debtor's property. It is also the legal instrument by which the Sheriff of a County may seize the assets of a judgment debtor.

A writ of fi.fa. may be issued on a default judgment case immediately. If the case was contested, then a writ of fi.fa. may not be issued until 10 days after the date of judgment. A writ of fi.fa. may also be used to perfect a lien upon any motor vehicles that the judgment debtor owns. There is a special process to go through in perfecting that judgment lien.

Appropriate forms are available to you through the Georgia Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles. You must send a self-addressed envelope, a check for $1.00 for each vehicle and a copy of the fi.fa. To: Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division, Trinity-Washington Bldg., Atlanta, Ga., 30334.

The Superior Court records a writ of fi.fa. for you upon the General Execution Docket, which is maintained by the Clerk of Superior Court. If you know of any other real property or seizable assets the judgment debtor owns in other counties, you should apply to the clerks of such counties to have writ of fi.fa. recorded upon the General Execution Dockets of those counties, as well. When the judgment is paid in full, you as the judgment creditor have the duty to see that the writ of fi.fa. is cancelled on the appropriate General Execution Docket(s). There is an additional fee for this service and that matter is handled through the Clerk of Superior Court in the respective counties wherein the writ of fi.fa. is filed.

Current fees can be found on the Filing Fees page.

 

 

Garnishments

A garnishment is a separate legal action that is filed against the garnishee. The garnishee is a person or business entity that either owes funds to the judgment debtor, or is holding funds on behalf of the judgment debtor. A garnishment could be used against a bank, credit union, employer, general contractor, etc. A garnishment is filed in the county where the garnishee is located.

Current fees can be found on the Filing Fees page.

 

 

Continuing Garnishment

A continuing garnishment is used when the judgment debtor is a wage earner. It lasts for a period of 180 days and the appropriate sums will be deducted from the judgment debtor's wages on a 30-day recurring basis until the entire judgment amount is collected, or until the expiration of 180 days from the date of service, whichever event shall first occur. A continuing garnishment is filed in the County where the garnishee is located.

Current fees can be found on the Filing Fees page.

 

 

Post-Judgment Interrogatories

The purpose of the Post-Judgment Interrogatories is to ascertain what the assets, if any, the judgment debtor has to satisfy this judgment debt. This process can be as much as a five step process which include the following:

  1. The cost is $10.00 per defendant. A copy is given to the filing party to be sent to the other party by certified mail. The green card must be returned to the Court after the Plaintiff receives it from the post office.
  2. If the Interrogatories are not answered within 30 days, then the judgment creditor must file an Affidavit and Motion to Require Answers to the Interrogatories and the appropriate notice. This is served upon the judgment debtor by certified mail-return receipt requested.
  3. If the judgment debtor fails to appear at the hearing, the court may, in appropriate circumstances, issue an Order requiring the judgment debtor to answer the Interrogatories within 10 days. The Sheriff’s Department serves this upon the judgment debtor.
  4. If there is no response to the Court Order requiring answers to the Interrogatories, then the judgment creditor must file an Affidavit and Motion to Invoke Sanction of Contempt for Defendant's Failure to Answer Interrogatories, plus the appropriate notice. The Sheriff’s Department must personally serve this upon the Defendant. Also, a copy of the previous order is served upon the judgment debtor, as well.
  5. If the Defendant fails to appear at the hearing, or in the event he does appear and does not have a bona fide reason for not answering the Interrogatories, then the Court may enter an Order for Incarceration. Judgment debtor is then arrested by the Sheriff’s Department and held in the County Jail until the Interrogatories are answered and approved by the Magistrate.

Please note that this is only an overview of the various procedures available to you. You may wish to consult legal counsel if you have difficulties in collecting the judgment lawfully due you.