As a judgment creditor, you may have won your lawsuit, but getting the debtor to pay up can be an arduous process. In New York, creditors have several tools at their disposal to try to collect money from judgment debtors. These include post-judgment subpoenas to compel the judgment debtor and/or third parties to appear in person for a deposition to answer questions under oath about their income and assets.
How Post-Judgment Subpoenas Can Be Used
Post-judgment subpoenas can be used at any point after the entry of a state court judgment, and starting 30 days after entry of a federal court judgment, until the judgment has been satisfied or vacated. They can be served on the judgment debtor and/or any party that the creditor and their attorneys reasonably believe has information about the debtor that will assist in collecting on the judgment. This method of judgment enforcement can be especially effective in gathering information from third parties, who are much less likely than debtors to try to dodge the subpoena, delay their response, or withhold information. Third parties such as the debtor’s accountants, banks, insurance providers, vendors, business associates, and former spouses may have information that would be beneficial.
Subpoenas and depositions are subject to certain procedural rules and requirements. For example, a subpoena compelling a debtor or third party to testify under oath must provide the witness at least 10 days’ notice, unless you have special permission from the court. The deposition must be held in New York during regular business hours, unless the witness consents to an alternate location within the state, and must be conducted by an attorney or other person authorized to administer an oath.
While a judgment debtor is not entitled to a fee for appearing at a deposition, other witnesses must be paid a one-day witness fee and be reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses. The creditor must also supply and cover the cost of translation services for witnesses (including judgment debtors) who do not speak English.
Speak to An Experienced Attorney
In addition to summoning witnesses for depositions, creditors can utilize post-judgment subpoenas to compel judgment debtors and third parties to turn over relevant documents and to provide written answers to questions about the judgment debtor’s assets. Speak to an attorney with expertise in judgment enforcement in New York to determine the best strategy for enforcing a judgment under your particular circumstances.
With vast experience in judgment enforcement matters, the attorneys at Katz Melinger PLLC represent individuals and businesses in state and federal courts throughout New York. Contact Katz Melinger PLLC at 212-460-0047 or online.