Federal Judgment Creditor Discovery

You have successfully represented your client and obtained a judgment against the opposing party! What else could a client ask for? How about actual payment on that judgment? Assuming you checked that first and know the judgment debtor has executable assets, even if you do not know exactly what or where, now what?

In Nevada NRS 21.170(1)(b) allows a judgment creditor to “an order from the judge of the court requiring the judgment debtor to appear and answer upon oath or affirmation concerning his or her property.” This is otherwise known as a judgment debtor examination. Functionally, it is a deposition focused only upon determining what assets the judgment debtor has. As you might guess, most people are somewhat resistant to the idea of telling a creditor where their money is. One tip: when the judgment debtor is a corporate entity, be specific and request a 30(b)(6) type designee, such as Fagan v. Lawrence Nathan Assocs.,[1] ordered to appear.

Another option is to send written discovery, like Rule 69(a) specifically contemplates. These do not require court approval to send. In Fagan the court denied a motion to compel responses because the requests for production had not yet been served.

[1] No. 2:13-cv-01748, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169413 (D. Nev. Dec. 2, 2013).