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What Happens After The Hearing?

If the Judge decides that you win, he may award you only part of the money you requested or whatever amount of damages he thinks you have proven. The judgment of the Court becomes a binding legal obligation after it is signed, unless one of the parties requests a new trial within three (3) days after the judgment. However, a judgment merely establishes that the defendant owes you money. IT DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN YOU WILL BE PAID.

Some judgment creditors are never paid, for various reasons. In order to collect your money, you may have to take further action; such as asking the Court to "garnish" the defendant's wages or "seize" and sell certain non-exempt property that belongs to the defendant. An additional deposit is required for each procedure.

If you need more information about the defendant in order to take these steps, you may request a "judgment debtor examination" to require the defendant to appear in Court and produce evidence of his assets and employment status. There is a court costs deposit required for filing this action, and it is not a new trial or hearing. You will be allowed to orally examine the defendant who will be under oath regarding his/her assets, employment, etc., at a place suitable for such examination, usually in the courtroom. This information may help you in finding other legal means for collecting on your judgment.

If you are not satisfied with the court's judgment, you may appeal its decision (WITH EXCEPTION OF SMALL CLAIM SUITS, there is no appeal afforded). An appeal would permit a review of the trial judge's ruling by a higher court to determine whether the judge properly applied the law to the facts of the case. However, the trial judge's factual findings on disputed issues (such as credibility of witnesses) would not ordinarily be reversed on appeal.

If you want to file an appeal, you must contact an attorney IMMEDIATELY after the trial.

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