Eviction Money Judgment

The process for obtaining an eviction and a money judgment is a two step process. The first step involves getting a judgment for possession to evict the tenant. Generally, landlords want to get the tenant out as quickly as possible so they move as fast as possible to get the judgment for possession so that the sheriff can start the eviction process.

Then after the eviction is completely, the landlord is able to ascertain the last date of possession to begin the process of filing for a money judgment. This is step two. It begins with either filing a 585 declaration along with your request for a clerk’s judgment or proving your case in a prove up hearing.

Once the money judgment is obtained, you proceed with enforcing it like any other judgment. I hope that explains things in the eviction world.

Lien On Personal Property

A personal property lien is used to assert your claim in property (other than real estate) owned by the debtor.
In theory, if the property is transferred to someone else (while a lien is in effect), the judgment lien continues even though the property is sold, exchanged, or disposed of. During the time period that the lien is effective, you can have the sheriff take the personal property and sell it at public auction to pay the debt. Personal property liens can be created in two ways. The lien can be created by filing a Notice of Judgment Lien (JL-1) This form can be found on the Secretary of State website. The second way is by serving the debtor with a notice of a debtor’s examination.

Necessaries of Life

A judgment debtor may not claim the Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) Section 706.051 exemption for earnings necessary to support the judgment debtor or the debtor’s family if the debt was incurred for the common necessaries of life for the judgment debtor or his or her family.

Courts strictly construe “common necessaries of life” to mean only essentials all persons commonly required to sustain life, regardless of the person’s employment or status. An car is not a common necessary of life.

An attorney fee awarded to the wife’s attorneys for securing spousal support is a necessary of life and is not exempt.

Hospital services furnished to the debtor or debtor’s family are common necessaries of life.

Improper Venue

A Defendant can challenge improper venue by moving to transfer venue to another court before or concurrently with its response to the complaint. CCP Section 396b(a) It should be noted that raising the issue as an affirmative defense in your answer is inadequate.

Failure to challenge in a timely manner waives any objection to the Plaintiff’s improper venue selection. Improper venue is not a jurisdictional defect and does not present grounds for collaterally attacking a judgment.

Wage Garnishment

A wage garnishment is a tool that a creditor can use after he has obtain a judgment against a individual debtor. After a judgment is issue, a creditor can ask for a writ of execution. Along with the writ of execution, they can have the sheriff serve a Application for Earning Withholding Order onto an employer of the debtor.

If the debtor works for the employer served, a lien is created on the judgment debtor’s earning that are required to be withheld under the order and on all the employer’s property subject to the enforcement of the money judgment in the amount required to be withheld under the order.

The lien endures for one year after the date the judgment debtor’s earning became payable unless the amount required to be withheld under the order is paid as required by law.

Within 10 days after the service of the earning withholding order, the employer must deliver to the debtor employee a copy of the earning withholding order and the notice to employee of earnings withholding.

Within 15 days after the date of service of the order, the employer must complete the employer’s return and mail it to the levying officer (sheriff). If the earning withholding order is defective, the employer must tell the sheriff why then are not complying with the order (for example, the employee no longer works here).

If the order is valid, the employer is required to withhold the amount set forth in the order and remit that amount to the sheriff office after each pay period.

Non Profit Organizations

One important thing that you should know when you are trying to collection a debt against a Non Profit Organization is that the principals behind a non profit organization are personally liable if you get a debt against the organization. That is one of the requirements of forming a non profit organization.

The principles agree to be personally liable for any liability of the organization. This dramatically different then a regular corporation or a limited liability company where personally liable is protect and is the main purpose of forming a corporate entity.


A money judgment awarded by the court against a defendant (or debtor) in a collection case is good for 10 years. That means that the Plaintiff (or creditor) has 10 years to try to collect or enforce the Judgment until it is satisfied.

At the end of the 10 year period the judgment will expired unless the Plaintiff or creditor elects to renew the Judgment. The Judgment can be renewed by filing out a court form and paying the court fee associated with the renewal. The rate is nominal. Please check the court fee schedule for the correct fee and require form in your area.

If you haven’t satisfied your judgment and it is due to expire, it is a good investment to renew it.

Sheriff Court Services

The Los Angeles Sheriff Office along with any other county like San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Orange County Sheriff Office all have a civil section to perform civil task like serving documents, levying bank accounts, placing keepers, move out keeper, garnishing wages and etc.

The Sheriff office also performs the same task that a attorney service can with regards to serving lawsuits and legal documents like subpoenas.

When it comes to doing bank levies, placing a keeper, wage garnishments, or a move out keeper, the Sheriff needs three things: a writ of execution (a court order giving them the right to execute on someone), instructions, and the requisite sheriff fees for the task at hand. Once those elements are satisfied, the Sheriff will personally served the bank levy instruction on the bank or business for a wage garnishment. They will personally appear at the location for a keeper or a move out keeper.

With a 8 hour keeper, they will place an off duty officer at a business. If a retail business is involved they will literally stand next to the cashier and take all monies coming into the business. With a move out keeper, they will come with a moving company and allow the moving company to seize all the assets of a location.

Answering Questions

If a court, government or law firm is levying money from your bank account, do they have to tell you first?

No, they do not. What generally happens is that they will obtain a Writ of Execution from the Court. With the Writ they will have the Sheriff’s office serve levy instructions on your bank. If you bank account exist at the institution that the levy is served upon then the bank will seize an amount that will satisfied the judgment and notify you.

That is the point that you will get notice of the bank levy. The bank then has 10 to 15 days to notify and to send the funds to the sheriff. Doing that time, it is your opportunity to figure out what is happening and ascertain if the bank levy was correct or not.

If they got the right party then the monies will be sent to the Sheriff’s office to send the money to your creditor.

Dismissal – Prejudice Vs. Without Prejudice

When a Request for Dismissal of a case is filed with the court, the difference between a Request of Dismissal with Prejudice and one without prejudice has significant meaning.

A Dismissal with prejudice means that the person suing you can’t sue you for the same thing that was originally alleged in their lawsuit that they dismissed with prejudice.

A Dismissal without Prejudice means that the filing party can refile their complaint against you at another time based on the same facts so long as it is within the Statute of Limitation. If they file a lawsuit and it is outside the Statute of Limitation, you can file a motion to dismiss the complaint.

I hope that clears things up.