Judgments

Judgments Are Final

All citizens have the right to have their dispute heard and decided by a judge or an attorney magistrate. A decision by a judge may not be appealed. A decision by an attorney magistrate may be appealed to a judge within 7 days after the trial.

Collecting on a Judgment

The Small Claims Division can enter money judgments only. This court has no authority to force anyone to do something, or to stop them from doing something. A money judgment means the court decides that one of the parties owes a certain amount of money to the other party, but it is not the court's responsibility to collect the judgment. In some cases, it may be very difficult or impossible to collect a money judgment.

The party who owes the money may be unemployed or bankrupt; may have gone out of business or left town; or may not earn enough wages for garnishment. Income such as unemployment compensation, public assistance benefits, or social security cannot be garnisheed. If the defendant is "uncollectible", it may be a waste of time and money to obtain a Small Claims judgment.