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Collecting and Resisting Court Judgments


These organizations may provide assistance with some aspects of civil and small claims judgments. Contact these organizations directly for more information about the services provided.

Sacramento County Public Law Library Civil Self Help Center
609 9th Street, Sacramento 95814
Services Provided: The Sacramento County Public Law Library Civil Self Help Center provides general information and basic assistance to self-represented litigants on a variety of civil legal issues.  Appointments will be made beginning at 8:30 a.m. Patrons who are present at 8:30 a.m. will be entered into a random drawing to determine the order their case will be evaluated. If an appointment is appropriate, it will be made for later in the day. You are encouraged to arrive by 8:25 a.m. to participate in the appointment setting drawing.
Eligibility: Must be a Sacramento County resident or have a qualifying case in the Sacramento County Superior Court.

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The Judicial Council creates many of the forms needed for collecting judgments. The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department also creates forms for use in this county specifically. For other situations, you may need to create your own forms. Our Research Guides & Step by Steps have instructions and samples for many commonly-used forms.

Judicial Council Forms
These mandatory forms can be filled out online.

Post-Judgment Collection Letter (Interactive Form)
Type your information into this Judicial Council web page and it will generate a letter for you to send to the debtor requesting payment.

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department Civil Bureau
In addition to forms for debt collection ("Sheriff's Instructions"), this page has information on the collections process as well as service of process.

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The Law Librarians have created these research guides as an aid for those starting a legal research project. These guides recommend print and electronic resources that will help you find answers to your law-related questions. Guides marked "Step-by-Step"  provide step-by-step information, as well as sample forms, for common legal procedures.

Collecting Judgments

Resisting Judgments

Judgment Interest Calculator (Excel)
Legal Aid Foundation, Santa Barbara County
You'll have to have macros enabled when you run it.

  1. How to use:
    Enter the total judgment including costs in Cell A2.
  2. Enter the date the judgment was entered in Cell B2.
  3. Enter the last day for interest to be calculated in Cell C2 (usually the day you run the program)
  4. Hit Calculated Interest button. This will generate a daily list of of the balance of the judgment from the date of entry of judgment to the last day for the interest calculations.
  5. Put in the amount of costs claimed on the date they were allowed.

This will cause a recalculation of the outstanding Principal and the daily interest amount based on the costs being added to the judgment.

Judgment Calculator
Superior Court, County of San Diego
Input the judgment amount, date, and payment history, and the program does all the calculations for you. 



Enforcement of Judgments (Videos are in MP4 format and compressed (.zip) for download.  Windows Media Player 12 or Apple Quicktime may be required to view videos).

Part 1: Introduction (7:12) (also via YouTube)

Part 2: Determine Amount Owed (12:37) (also via YouTube)

Part 3: Finding Assets (13:29) (also via YouTube)

Part 4a: Choose Your Weapons(s) (20:36) (also via YouTube)

Part 4b: Handling Claims of Exemption (18:17) (also via YouTube)

This twice sold-out class, videotaped the third time, covers the most successful methods of collection, including obtaining an earnings withholding order and bank levy. Applications and Orders for Appearance and Examination, used to examine the judgment debtor in court to identify assets; and Abstracts of Judgment, used to place a lien against the judgment debtor’s real property; are also covered, as is how to calculate interest on judgments, renew a judgment, and file an Acknowledgment of Satisfaction of Judgment.

Videos from other organizations:

The Legal Aid Society of Orange County has produced a series of videos on enforcing small claims judgments. The techniques should be applicable in any California case, although some details may be specific to Orange County. Topics include:

  • Collecting Your Small Claims Judgment: Know the Basics (Part I)
  • Wage Garnishment (Part II)
  • Bank Levy (Part III)
  • Property Liens (Part IV)
  • The Debtor's Examination (Part V)
  • Collecting from a Debtor's Spouse (Part VI)
  • Executing a Till Tap (Part VII)
  • Executing a Keeper (Part VIII)
  • Recovering Post-Judgment Costs (Part IX)
  • Debtors Who Relocate (Part X)
  • Debtors With Licenses (Part XI)

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