Recovering a judgment may require appearances at post-judgment court hearings. When appearing in court, the Boy Scout motto applies: be prepared. Courts may restrict cameras and many electronic devices, however no court (to my knowledge) stops you from bringing paper, documents, pens, and similar things in your hand or in a briefcase or notebook. When a creditor appears at a post-judgment court hearing, what should they bring?
This article is my opinion, and not legal advice. I am a judgment solutions expert, and am not a lawyer. If you ever need any legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact a lawyer. This article uses California as an example, however nationwide, most courts have very similar rules.
The seven most useful common things to bring to court are:
1) Money for parking or (bring change for) parking meters, and to pay for copies of documents, court fees, etc. Perhaps bring food (be discrete), drink (also be discreet), or money for snacks.
2) A copy of your driver’s license.
3) If you use one, a copy of your current FBN/DBA.
4) Self-addressed stamped envelopes and some extra stamps. This saves you from needing to come to court again for documents that cannot be processed instantly, so you can get a conformed (court-stamped) copy of the document(s) mailed back to you.
5) Several copies of any moving papers or documents you wish to show as evidence.
6) Copies of the laws and case law, relevant to what you are facing or trying to accomplish.
7) If you are the assignee of record, a copy of the relevant laws and some case law showing your right to stand in the shoes of the original judgment creditor when you are the assignee of record. In California, CCP 673 covers this.
Even the best judge does not know everything. Judges usually appreciate it when you can make their job easier, by helping them avoid deciding something. When you mention and show the relevant laws and case law, it helps the judge off the “decision making” hook.
If you are performing a judgment debtor examination, you might also consider bringing:
1) Definitions of words you use regularly when conducting examinations, in case a stubborn debtor or their attorney asks you a silly question such as (e.g.,) “what do you mean by income?”
2) Some additional questions, not already included with the previously served examination documents.
3) More laws and case law, showing your right to ask broad questions, and the debtor’s limited ability to object. In California, CCP 2016.070, and the Troy vs Superior Court and Young vs Keele cases are good. To demonstrate how examinations are not depositions, there is Nebel vs Sulak. For turnover orders, there is Imperial Bank vs Pim Electric.
4) A list of all current Federal and State exemption limit amounts.
Besides a computer or tablet device, a binder is probably the best method for keeping things organized. Over time, your briefcase or binder will become more full, probably with tabbed alphabetized sections.
If you have a scanning solution; and a laptop, iPad, or similar tablet device; you can probably keep most things there. Although storing things on a portable electronic device is very convenient; you should also have paper copies of things you want to show the judge through the bailiff, or to the other party(s).