Intercepting Funds Owed by a Public Entity to a Non-State-Agency Debtor (C.C.P. § 708.750)

  1. Introduction

California Code of Civil Procedure Section 708.750 sets forth the procedure that enables a judgment creditor to enforce a judgment against funds due from a public entity, such as a government agency or municipality, to a judgment debtor.  The steps are as follows:

  1. Obtain a Money Judgment

Before you can enforce a judgment, you must first obtain a money judgment against the judgment debtor (the party you’re trying to collect from) through the court system. This requires the filing a lawsuit, completing pertinent discovery, trying the matter, and obtaining a judgment in your favor.

  1. Identify the Public Entity and the Funds 

Determine which public entity (other than a state agency) owes money to the judgment debtor. This entity might be a government agency, municipality, or any other public body.  This information can be obtained through post-judgment discovery, through specialized software platforms (e.g. Govspend.com), and through government websites providing information on public contracts to facilitate transparency regarding the use of public funds.

  1. Put the Public Entity on Notice with the Right Documents

The judgment creditor will need to send the following documents to the auditor of the public entity or, if there is no auditor, with the official whose duty corresponds to that of auditor.  (For example, the documents may need to be sent to the controller of the agency.)

(a) abstract of Judgment or a certified copy of the Judgment;

(b) an Affidavit setting forth the total amount currently due by the judgment debtor on the judgment.

  1. Obligations of the Public Entity

After receipt of the documents identified in Section 3 above, the auditor (or other official) shall:

(a) deposit with the court by a warrant or check payable to the court, the amount due the judgment debtor (after deducting an amount sufficient to reimburse the public entity for any amounts advanced to the judgment debtor or owed by the judgment debtor to the public entity) required to satisfy the money judgment as shown by the affidavit in full or to the greatest extent; and

(2) pay the balance thereof, if any, to the judgment debtor.

  1. Follow-up with the Public Entity

Oftentimes, public entities are extremely busy.  Sending follow-up correspondence to the agency may be necessary to ensure your request is properly addressed.

  1. Objections and Resolution

If the public entity objects to paying the funds, you may need to resolve the matter by requesting the intervention of the court.  This might involve filing a motion to compel payment or address any objections raised by the entity.

  1. Request Release of Funds from the Court

Once the public entity forwards to the court the funds due to the judgment debtor, you will need to make a formal request that the court then release the funds to you, in satisfaction of the debt owed to you by the judgment debtor.

  1. Conclusion

It’s important to consult with an attorney who specializes in collections in California, as this process can be complex, and the specific steps and requirements may vary depending on the circumstances of your case.  Our office can guide you through the process and ensure that you follow the necessary procedures to enforce your judgment against funds due from a public entity to your judgment debtor.