If either party in a small claims action believes the judgment of the Court is in error, the party may appeal to the Denver District Court by filing an appeal. If you wish to appeal, you must file your appeal within 14 days of the judgment. The appeal process is very complicated. For detailed information on filing an appeal, refer to the Appeals Section.
The Court must enter an Order for Judgment before collection can begin. The following are options a party has after the Court enters judgment. The party who should receive money, as ordered by the Court, is the “judgment creditor” and the party who owes money, as ordered by the Court, is the “judgment debtor.”
A money judgment is good for six years. The Court CANNOT collect your money judgment for you.
Steps to collecting your judgment
Ask the judgment debtor to pay, preferably in writing.
If the judgment debtor refuses to pay and you do not know where the judgment debtor works, banks, or owns property, you may file a Motion and Order for Interrogatories with the Court. The judgment debtor will be ordered by the Court to answer the questions truthfully. (The Court may have already ordered the judgment debtor to answer interrogatories after the Court Trial.) The answers provided in the interrogatories can be helpful in collecting your judgment, such as employer’s name and pay dates, location of bank accounts and/or other assets.
Serve the Court Ordered interrogatories on the judgment debtor.
- Select either the Sheriff’s Department, a private process server, or someone you know who is 18 years or older and not a party to the action and who knows the Rules of Service to serve the judgment debtor. The process server must follow the Service of Process requirements stated in Rule 304.
- Be sure to return the Affidavit of Service to the Court as soon as possible after service has been completed.
Wait for the return of the interrogatories. The answers must be filed with the Court within fourteen (14) days after the judgment debtor received them.
Upon receipt of the interrogatories, you will be ready to file a Writ of Garnishment or request a lien be placed against real estate owned by the judgment debtor. If the judgment debtor fails to comply with the order by not answering the interrogatories, you may file a Motion for Contempt Citation.
Obtaining a Writ of Garnishment
Following are the Writ of Garnishment options available and detailed information on the garnishment process.
Writ of Continuing Garnishment “Writ of continuing garnishment” means the procedure for withholding the earnings of a judgment debtor for successive pay periods for payment of a judgment debt.
Writ of Garnishment with Notice of Exemption & Pending Levy “Writ of garnishment with notice of exemption and pending levy” means the procedure for the withholding of an individual’s personal property, other than earnings, for payment of a judgment debt.
Writ of Garnishment – Judgment Debtor other than Natural Person “Writ of garnishment – judgment debtor other than natural person” means the procedure for the withholding of personal property of a judgment debtor other than a natural person for payment of a judgment debt. (“Other than a natural person” means a corporation, limited partnership, etc.)
Requesting a Lien Against Property
- Complete a Satisfaction of Judgment and file with the Court.
- Mail a copy of the Satisfaction of Judgment to the judgment debtor.
- If you placed a lien on property owned by the judgment debtor, notify the Clerk and Recorder to release the lien.
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