Enforcement Of Monetary Judgments: What To Do After Winning Your Case

Often, being successful in your lawsuit can be only half the battle, particularly where the judgment debtor fails or refuses to pay the judgment made. If the Court awards a monetary judgment...
Canada Litigation, Mediation & Arbitration
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You won your case – congratulations! Now what?

Often, being successful in your lawsuit can be only half the battle, particularly where the judgment debtor fails or refuses to pay the judgment made. If the Court awards a monetary judgment, what steps can you take to enforce or collect on that judgment?

There are several ways to collect on your judgment, including the seizure and sale of assets owned by the judgment debtor, or garnishment of bank accounts or other sources of income owed to the judgment debtor. This post details some preliminary steps you may wish to take to enforce your judgment.

File and Register Your Judgment

The first step in enforcing your judgment is to ensure that it is registered in the Court of King's Bench in the Judicial Centre where the judgment was obtained. If the judgment or order was obtained at the Court of King's Bench, it is already registered. However, if it originated from some other court or tribunal, you'll need to register it with the Court of King's Bench.

Obtain a Writ of Enforcement

A Writ of Enforcement is your key to collecting on the debt. This document is filed with the Court of King's Bench and then registered in the Personal Property Registry ("PPR"). It authorizes you to collect on the debt through garnishment, seizure of property, or other methods permitted by law in Alberta.

Registration in the PPR provides knowledge to the world at large about the existence of your judgment and allows you to participate in any distributions made by the Clerk of the Court from funds collected by other unsecured creditors who have taken steps to collect funds from the judgment debtor through civil enforcement processes.

Identify the Debtor's Assets

In order to enforce the judgment effectively, you need to know what assets the debtor owns and where they are located. Several methods can help you identify these assets:

  • Conduct a search at the PPR to uncover any existing creditors and potential assets, such as motor vehicles or equipment.
  • Search the Land Titles office to determine if the debtor owns any land. If so, you can register your writ on the title to that property.
  • Serve the debtor with a Financial Statement of Debtor. This is a Statutory Declaration that requires the debtor to acknowledge, and swear to, the existence of assets, including land, bank accounts, and vehicles. The Civil Enforcement Regulations provide that a debtor properly served with the Financial Statement of Debtor must provide that information within 15 days.

Consult with a Lawyer

Enforcing a judgment can be complex, and it's essential to have guidance. A lawyer specializing in civil enforcement processes can help you understand your options and navigate the process effectively. They can provide tailored advice based on your specific circumstances, increasing your chances of success.

Enforcing a judgment can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, it's entirely achievable. By following these steps and seeking professional assistance when needed, you can enforce your monetary judgment and collect what you're owed.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Enforcement Of Monetary Judgments: What To Do After Winning Your Case

Canada Litigation, Mediation & Arbitration

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