- Posted April 13, 2014 by
When to Start Collecting Your Small Claims Judgment
Small Claims: You must wait 30 days after the Judgment is entered or mailed to collect your small claims judgment1. This gives the defendant the opportunity to appeal. There is no longer a wait time after an appeal.
If the defendant appears at the hearing and lost, he or she has 30 days to file for an appeal. If there is no appeal, you can start collecting after this period of time. If the defendant chooses to appeal, there will be a new hearing date at the superior court. If you win at this new hearing, you can start collecting upon receipt of the new judgment, which usually occurs within 10 days.
If the defendant failed to show up at the hearing and lost, you would also have to wait 30 days from the date of judgment to start collecting. The defendant, however, has the option to file a motion to vacate judgment within 180 days after the date of the original judgment. Based on the defendant’s reason for not appearing at the hearing, the judge may allow the motion to vacate the judgment.
One good reason would be that the defendant was not served properly or on time. If the judge approves the motion and sets another date for a hearing, you must wait another 30 days from the date of the new judgment to collect. If the motion to vacate was denied, you can start collecting; however, the defendant can still appeal the denial of the motion. It is a complicated process and rarely happens; however, if the defendant does so, you must wait until the appeal is resolved.
Civil: There is no waiting period unless the court has ordered a stay pending appeal.
This Information Is Not Legal Advice.