Saturday, January 5, 2019

Collecting on a Judgement

There have been many discussions over the years on suing the owner of the dog that bit you / barks all night / has engaged in other destructive behavior.

Say you win that suit, and the court awards you damages?   Remember, the court is not a collection agency:  Its not like the bailiff is going to hand you a check on the way out the door.   Unless the defendant agrees to pay you, you will have to pursue a collection action against them.

I saw this video on YouTube the other week.  The host specializes in automobile law, but his monologue on collections would apply regardless of the complaint.

Here is the video:

"Lehto's Law" is a good channel to follow if you have any interest in legal issues.  Steve is licensed in the state of Michigan, but most states have similar laws.  As always, Your Mileage May Vary.

Steve makes the excellent point that very few people are truly "Judgement Proof".  To be truly Judgement Proof, one must meet all of the following requirements:

1)  Not have any sort of real job.  No W2 or 1099 wages.
2)  Not Participate in the financial system in any way.  No checking account, no brokerage accounts, no CD's, etc...
3)  Not own anything of any value.

If you are suing a dogger, consider that this activity may not pay for itself.  However, you don't sue a dogger to become rich, you sue the dogger to punish the dogger for their destructive, anti-social behavior.  In the current legal, social and political climate dog owners are virtually above reproach.  The civil court system is just about the only way to go after them.  You want to make their life a living hell, just like they made yours into the same.  If you make them miserable enough, they may modify their behavior.

Good luck, and happy new year!


  1. Agreed, you just can't talk sense to these people. My neighbor has two ignored barking yard ornaments, I was outside in my OWN back yard causing them to further go off and bitching out loud about it. The woman had the nerve to come knock on MY door about me complaining, as if the solution wasn't easy- get off your ass and take care of the animals you CHOSE to get.

  2. Same thing happened to me, Ka D. To the point where I was accused of discrimination. Why? Because I dared to disagree with the neighbors' failure to control their yap-o-matic dog, that's why!