How to get a debtor's examination
If you need information about what the person or business who owes you money earns or owns, you can get a court order for them to come to court to answer questions (called a debtor's examination) about what they earn or own. You can use this information to try to collect the money owed to you.
Below, we refer to the debtor's examination as an "exam."
If the person you're trying to get money from is more than 150 miles away from the county where you started your case, you can't file your Order to Produce Statement of Assets and to Appear for Examination (form SC-134) there.
Instead, you must file your Order to Produce Statement of Assets and to Appear for Examination (form SC-134) in the county where the person you're trying to get money from lives or owns a business.
Here's how to do that:
1. Have an Abstract of Judgment (form EJ-001) issued by the court where your case is now.
2. Fill out the Order to Produce Statement of Assets and to Appear for Examination (form SC-134).
3. Write a statement that explains that the person you're trying to get money from lives or owns a business more than 150 miles away. As a result, the exam must be done in the county where the person you're trying to get money from lives or owns a business. You can write the statement on a Declaration (form MC-030). Attach this statement to the Order to Produce (form SC-134) you filled out in Step 2.
4. File the Order to Produce (form SC-134) and statement in the county where the person you're trying to get money from lives or owns a business, not the county where you started the case. The county where you file the Order to Produce (form SC-134) and statement will open a case only for the exam. Everything else related to your case will be done through the county court where you started your case.
Fill out a form
Fill out Application and Order for Appearance and Examination (form EJ-125) to get an examination.
Get a subpoena if you need or want documents like financial records
If you want the other side to bring copies of financial records to the court date, like their bank statements or pay stubs, you will need to get a court order (called a subpoena).
- You can use Civil Subpoena (form SUBP-002) and explain that you're requesting the documents to provide you with information to enforce a money judgment. Documents that may help you include pay stubs, invoices, other records regarding employment or payments received, bank account statements, stock, bond or other investment records, car or other vehicle ownership records, deeds, and more.
Do not fill this out yet. A subpoena needs to be issued (signed or stamped) by a court clerk before you fill it out. You can bring it to get issued by the clerk when you file the Application and Order for Appearance and Examination. Once the clerk issues it, then you fill it out. Some courts have subpoena forms, already issued, on their websites that you can download.
Make 2 copies of the Application and Order for Appearance and Examination and the subpoena form, if you used one.
File the form
Take the original and copies of the Application and Order for Appearance and Examination to the court clerk. They will stamp them and give you a court date.
Pay a $60.00 filing fee. Keep a receipt for this. You can have the cost added to what the other side owes you. If you can’t afford the fee, you can ask the clerk for a fee waiver.
If you have a subpoena, ask the clerk to issue it. The subpoena does not get filed. After the clerk issues it, you can fill it out to say what documents you want the person to bring to the exam. Page 2 of the Subpoena has space for you to list what documents you want them to bring or you can use an attachment page.
Give a professional server the forms
Unless the court orders that you can do something different, you must have a professional server deliver a copy of the issued order for appearance and examination and subpoena, if any, to the person to whom it is directed. Your server must be the sheriff or professional process server.
Not all sheriff's offices will serve your form so contact them to find out.
Give the sheriff or process server:
- A copy of the filed Order to Produce Statement of Assets and to Appear for Examination, Order for Appearance and Examination, and the Subpoena, if you filled one out
- Written instructions with the name and address of the person to serve, best time of day to try to serve, and what the person looks like
- Pay the cost to serve. The sheriff charges about $40.00 (unless you have a fee waiver). Fees for professional servers can vary. Check what they charge before you choose one.
The server must deliver the papers 30 days, or more, before the examination date.
Check in with server
Check in with the server at least a few days before your court date to find out if the forms were served (if they don't contact you first).
If the other side was served, your server will usually fill out and file a Proof of Service with the court. If they don't, get this from them and file it with the court.