After the litigation process concludes and a judgment is entered in your favor, the big question is “OK, how do I get paid?”
Assuming the other party fails to write you a big fat check for everything you might be owed, there are a number of judicial means to track down the assets legally belong to you now. The use of installment plans or garnishment proceedings may be appropriate for a judgment debtor who just needs a little push, but tougher cases might require the use of the more powerful Citation to Discover Assets.
This type of citation is part of a post-judgment proceeding under section 2-1402 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure. The power it holds encompasses most of the other means of getting your opponent to pay what he rightfully owes. A citation process performed properly can end with a wage garnishment, levy, or similar order to turn over assets, and can even call in banks or employers through these supplementary proceedings. Additionally, Rule 277 of the Illinois Supreme Court rules also governs these proceedings, and local court rules may dictate additional terms that must be complied with.
Once the citation is properly before the court, the debtor or third-party is essentially summoned forth to declare what assets of the debtor are in his/her/its hands, including any wages or income that might be owed. Additionally, failing to show up at such a hearing carries the possibility for contempt proceedings, so it’s best not to ignore the notices just to see what happens.
Representing yourself in post-judgment proceedings is not recommended, as there are numerous legal procedures that must be followed. If you or someone you know are either trying to collect a debt or to defend against a citation, contacting a qualified, licensed attorney is a good place to start.
DISCLAIMER: Please do not prepare your own documents / filings after reading this blog, without consulting an attorney first about your specific situation. I make no representations or guarantees here as to the applicability of any claim in your specific situation. This blog is ADVERTISING MATERIAL only, and should not be relied upon as legal advice, especially if you are not an Illinois resident. Please contact me if you have a legal question or concern, as no attorney-client agreement will exist between myself and any readers of this blog unless it is signed in writing.
—Photo by Refracted Moments (Flickr) used under CC attribution license—