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.

You must do the exam in a court near where the other side lives or works. 

The other side must live or own a business within 150 miles from the court where you'll have the examination.

How to ask for a debtor's examination

  • Fill out a form

    illustration of a person filling forms at home

    Fill out an Order to Produce Statement of Assets and to Appear for Examination (form SC-134).

    This tells the person they have to come to court to answer questions and give you a filled out Judgment Debtor's Statement of Assets (form SC-133).

    If you already have their completed Statement of Assets (form SC-133), fill out Application and Order for Appearance and Examination (form EJ-125) to get an examination. Form EJ-125 just orders them to come to court to answer questions. You'll file and have this form served instead of Form SC-134.
  • Get a subpoena if you need paperwork

    If you want the other side to bring copies of paperwork 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 Small Claims Subpoena and Declaration (form SC-107)

    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 Order to Produce Statement of Assets and to Appear for  Examination. Once the clerk issues it, then you fill it out.

  • Make copies

    Make copies of the Order to Produce Statement of Assets and to Appear for  Examination.

  • File the form

    Take the original and copies of the Order to Produce Statement of Assets and to Appear for 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 have a subpoena, ask the clerk to issue it. The subpoena doesn't get filed. After the clerk issues it, you can fill it out to say what paperwork you want the person to bring to the exam. Page 2 of the Subpoena has a list of the type of documents you may want to ask for after a trial. Check the boxes of what documents you want them to bring.

  • Give a professional server the forms

    Illustration of giving papers to a server who then gives them to the other party

    You must have a professional server deliver a copy of the filed form(s). 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 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 10 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.

Debtor's Examination

What's next?

Once you've filed your forms, you can start to prepare for your court date.

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