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Civil/Commercial Litigation (Lawsuits)/Garnishment Of Bank Account After Winning Judgement


Hello Mr. Smith

I will be taking both a woman and her daughter-in-law as defendants to small claims court in the future.I am expecting to win a judgement from at least the daughter-in-law for hitting my rear bumper while driving her mother-in-law's car which was uninsured at the time of the accident. A local attorney mentioned I could also file against the girl's mother for negligence from not having an insured vehicle, so unless you think that would be a bad decision to do so I'll pursue the mother in small claims too.

A General Sessions Court clerk told me winning a judgment is easier than getting your money sometimes. He mentioned getting a form(s) from the court and submitting it to various local banks in my city in hopes to locate the defendant(s) bank account(s) to garnish. That seems sort of like hunting for Easter Eggs, especially in a city the size of Nashville, Tennessee. It seems like there should exist more efficient and faster methods for any citizen to search on their own for a defendant's bank account(s) and other assets to garnish if a citizen should win a small claims judgement. I fear hiring private investigators to do so would be more than the cost of my bumper repair.

Thank you for any direction in this matter.  

Mike E.

Greetings Michael,

Before I respond further to your question, I must make clear that I do not represent you, and cannot give you individual particularized legal advice. No attorney client relationship is created by this email. For legal advice, you should hire your own attorney, and follow their advice. My role with AllExperts is limited to providing general information and suggestions for educational or general knowledge purposes. Before you take any action, consult with your own attorney.

Furthermore, I see by your question that you are in Tennessee, and I do not practice in your State.

The selection of defendant(s) by a Plaintiff can be tricky.  The suggestion you describe by the local attorney seems reasonably prudent to me.  

The Clerk's expression is likewise consistent with my experience.  Winning a judgment is the beginning of your work to get compensated, not the end.  There are tools in my State, and likely similar ones in yours, to help a judgment creditor execute the judgment.  Here, they include discovery in aid of execution.  That's a set of rules that help judgment creditors find the debtor's assets to satisfy the judgment.

My suggestion is proceed as you plan against both defendants, and concentrate for now in obtaining a judgment.  If you win that, I suggest you revisit your local attorney for suggestions about how to enforce the judgment under your local rules.

I hope this helps, good luck to you.

Morgan Smith
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Conciliation Court * Civil Litigation * Forfeitures * Construction * Family Law

Civil/Commercial Litigation (Lawsuits)

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Morgan Smith


Civil litigation (contract claims, landlord-tenant actions, forfeiture suits, residential construction defect matters), Family law (divorce, custody modifications, child support modifications, and pre-nuptial agreement), new business start-ups, civil forfeiture, asset forfeiture. Please do not submit your question as Private. It is my policy not to answer Private questions from members of the public here on AllExperts; I reserve that function to my private clients. Although AllExperts permits me to change your questions from Private to Public, it is my policy not to do that. I encourage you to resubmit your question as a public question. Your public question has the potential to help others with similar concerns. I suggest that you use a pretend name and otherwise alter sensitive facts that make you inclined to treat your question as Private, and submit your question to me Publicly.


I've been practicing law in the State of Minnesota since 1995. I've worked in skyscraper firms, and now my own small firm in Minneapolis. Past answers from my earlier participation on AllExperts is posted at:

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