A judgment is a court order to one party to pay the other party money. If the money is paid, file a notification form in the court saying it has been paid.
If the defendant does not send you the money the court ordered within 30 days, you can enforce the judgment. The Vermont Judiciary website has a step-by-step explanation of the ways to enforce a judgment. If you have questions, contact us by filling out our form. Your information will be sent to Legal Services Vermont, which screens requests for help for both Vermont Legal Aid and Legal Services Vermont. You can also call us at 1-800-889-2047.
Here is a brief description of how to enforce your judgment.
Financial disclosure hearing
If the defendant does not pay you, you can file a Motion for Financial Disclosure. VRSCP 7. There is a filing fee, but you can file a fee waiver request. Use this form. You should send a copy of the motion, along with a copy of the Certificate of Service, to the defendant.
Once you file this motion, the clerk sets a time and sends the defendant a notice of hearing and a financial disclosure form. At the hearing, the judge can order the defendant to pay, or order the defendant to make payments according to a payment plan. Or, if the defendant has a very low income, the judge may not be able to order a payment at all because the defendant’s income is exempt from collection. VRSCP 7.
Other enforcement of judgments
If you have a judgment, and 30 days have passed, there are several ways to enforce the judgment. You must pay a filing fee to file any of these post-judgment motions, or you can apply to have the filing fee waived.
- Get money from the defendant’s bank account. VRSCP 9. You can get from the court clerk an execution and Summons to Trustee. Send the Summons to Trustee and a list of exemptions to the defendant’s bank. The bank will then freeze the defendant’s bank account. The bank will report back to the court the amount and source of the money in the bank account. VRCP 4.2(k). The court will order the bank to pay you what you are owed out of the account.
- Get a wage garnishment order. VRSCP 9; VRCP 4.2 First, send the defendant’s employer a form for the employer to disclose the defendant’s income. At the same time, file a motion for wage garnishment with the court. Be sure to send copies of these papers to the defendant with a Certificate of Service. If the defendant does not pay after a payment order from a financial disclosure hearing, you may also ask the court to find that the defendant is in contempt. VRSCP 8. Make a Motion for Contempt with the small claims court. Send a copy of the motion and Certificate of Service to the defendant, and file an original certificate of service with the court.