I am not a lawyer, I am the nation’s only Judgment Broker. This article is my opinion, and not legal advice, based on my experience in California, and laws vary in each state. If you ever need any legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact a lawyer.
Most people are not lawyers and do not work at law firms. Many judgments are too small to be cost effective to hire a lawyer to recover them. Recovering judgments require non-trivial legal procedures and paperwork, and when people want to research their own legal matter, law libraries can be very useful.
Many counties have law libraries, that are usually either part of, next to, or near a courthouse. Most are sponsored in some way by the local bar (law organization) association. Law libraries are usually not crowded, especially in this economy. Although law libraries are designed for lawyers and mostly lawyers use them; almost all of them allow nicely dressed, polite, and quiet mortals to have access to everything at their library.
Usually, there is just one or two workers on duty at law libraries. While they can answer questions, they are not there to train you. Law libraries are designed for you to show up, do your research, then leave when you are done. Almost always, the workers are very polite. When they have time to be, they are usually very helpful.
Law libraries have a vast quantity of legal resources, that allows you to get information and answers for many questions related to any legal matter, including judgment recovery. Many have judgment recovery books for every state. Most law libraries have computers where you can (at least on a limited basis) access Westlaw, Lexis Nexis, and similar sources. This lets you locate public records that may help show your judgment debtor’s assets. Expect to pay a nominal charge to use their printer.
Law libraries have information on a vast number of topics including bond claims and what it takes to collect against them, Rutter’s BK Practice guide, sample motions, laws, and the case law that discusses them. In California, the Pleading And Practice books are very useful. Most have thousands of books that would cost a fortune to buy.
There are a few judgment enforcers that discreetly and primarily run their judgment enforcement business mostly at law libraries. When needed for meetings, some enforcers rent rooms there for a nominal rate. Sometimes they meet judgment owners and judgment debtors at the courthouse or the recorder’s office, which are both usually very close to a law library.
If you use a law library to do your business on a regular basis, you need to be quiet and respectful, and perhaps bring donuts or bagels at least once a week. Some have limited hours for the rooms they rent.
Law libraries always have copy machines you can use for a nominal fee. If you bring your laptop, some even have a printer connection so you can print out your agreements and documents. At (e.g.) 50 cents per page, it is probably cheaper than driving back and forth to your home or office. One can meet people at a law library, and there is usually a place nearby to get documents notarized.
Because many law libraries are very close to a court, in places where parking next to the court is difficult to find or too expensive, some people park at a law library when they need to make a short visit to the court. That is usually not allowed, however it happens every business day. Law libraries are under-utilized and very valuable for everyone with a legal matter to research.