Small Claims Court 6. Collecting an unpaid debt via a City Marshal

After I received the Small Claims Court Notice of Judgment, dated April 30, I was instructed to wait another 30 days before taking the next step to collect the debt.

In the meantime, I gathered the information I needed. The court had handed to me a list of New York City Sheriffs, one per borough, and a much longer list of City Marshals. I had to choose whom to use to collect my money.

I decided on the marshal — because there were more of them than there were sheriffs and because several were women — and selected one whose office was near my lawyer’s office.

The Small Claims Court Notice of Judgment I’d received in the mail had put Chaz back onto the case as an individual defendant, along with the co-op as a corporate defendant. I had long since accumulated all the specific information I needed to target every defendant’s monetary base. Chaz worked and I had the information about his employer; the corporation had two bank accounts, and I had the account information for both; and Chaz owned property, i.e., his shares in the co-op. I had his mortgage bank information.

I called the marshal to find out what she needed from me. She told me, first, that I could go after only one defendant at a time. And I needed to write her a letter stating my situation:

  • I hadn’t received payment for the debt I was owed;
  • I wanted her to collect the judgment for me; and
  • I gave her all the information she’d need to collect the judgment.
  • I would have to get the letter notarized and then send it to her, with
  • A check for $25, as a marshal’s case fee. And
  • That letter had to include all my own contact information.

I wrote the letter — at the top I put in what the letter was about, i.e., a Small Claims Court Notice of Judgment in the amount of $2736.99, the index number of the Small Claims Court case, and that it was about a breach of the Stipulation, dated 4/30/13.

I ran down to my lawyer’s office and got the letter notarized (which is why I chose a marshal nearby) and took it with all the supporting documents — the Small Claims Court Notice of Judgment, proof of the individual defendant’s employment, and a check for $25 — personally to the marshal’s office on John Street, a few blocks east of my lawyer’s office.

(In the end, I had to re-do the letter and repeat the entire business to include another check for $12.77, because the marshal’s fee for wage garnishment of an individual defendant is $37.77 [who knows why?], not $25.)

The marshal told me I could mail it. But I said, “No, I like doing things face to face, it’s interesting.” And she smiled a little bit. Only a little bit, though: marshals are very serious people.

So I delivered this corrected package to the marshal and send a copy of the letter to Larry, the co-op’s lawyer. Because I am an honorable person.

Next: How Larry temporarily thwarted me which is why I had to go back to the marshal with a new letter.

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