Responding If The Judgment Debtor Contests Collection
Learn what you can do if the judgment debtor in your case files a Claim of Exemption with the court, but you disagree with the exemptions the debtor is claiming.
After the sheriff or constable serves the paperwork to execute your judgment, the “judgment debtor” (the person you are trying to collect from) has ten business days after the Notice of Execution is mailed or his wages are withheld to file with the court to claim any exemptions he believes apply. The judgment debtor will mail you a copy of his Claim of Exemption form. To learn more about this process, click to visit Contesting a Garnishment or Attachment.
You have eight business days from the service of the judgment debtor’s Claim of Exemption to file an objection with the court if you disagree with the exemptions the judgment debtor is claiming. The court will set a hearing and decide whether the claimed exemptions are valid.
To see a flowchart showing an overview of this process, click on the link below:
Flowchart – Overview of Collection of a Civil Judgment
Q&A – Objections
How will I know if the judgment debtor has filed a claim of exemption?
After the judgment debtor files his Claim of Exemption with the court, he is required to mail a copy to you, along with the constable or sheriff who served the paperwork and any third party involved in the execution (the judgment debtor’s bank or employer, for example). (NRS 21.112(1).)
If you are concerned you will not be notified of any Claim of Exemption filed, look up your case on the court’s website every couple of days following the service of your execution paperwork. If the judgment debtor files a Claim of Exemption, you will see it in the court’s records and can get a copy from the court clerk. Click to visit Look Up My Case for links and instructions.
How long does the judgment debtor have to file a claim of exemption?
When the sheriff or constable serves your execution paperwork, he will mail a Notice of Execution to the judgment debtor’s last known address. The judgment debtor has ten business days after the Notice of Execution is mailed to file with the court to claim any exemptions he believes apply. (NRS 21.112(1).)
If you are trying to garnish the judgment debtor’s wages, the judgment debtor has ten days after learning that his wages are being garnished to file his Claim of Exemption.
How long do I have to file my objection to the judgment debtor’s Claim of Exemption?
You have eight business days (plus three calendar days) from the mailing of the judgment debtor’s Claim of Exemption to file an objection with the court if you disagree with the exemptions the judgment debtor is claiming. (NRS 21.112(3).)
Why would I file an objection to the judgment debtor’s Claim of Exemption?
You would file an objection if you believe the judgment debtor is not entitled to the exemptions he is claiming in his Claim of Exemption.
Whether an objection is warranted depends on the particular circumstances of your case and the information you have about the judgment debtor. It could be that the judgment debtor has failed to provide proof of the exemption he is claiming, and you want to see documentation establishing the exemption. It could be that you have information about the judgment debtor’s employment, income, assets, and the like, that leads you to believe he is not entitled to the exemption he is claiming. You will need to use your best judgment to decide whether an objection is justified given your circumstances.
How do I file an objection to the judgment debtor’s Claim of Exemption?
To file an objection, complete the objection form and file it with the court where your case is pending. A form objection is available for free at the Self-Help Center, or you can download it by clicking one of the formats underneath the form’s title below:
For instructions on how to complete a legal form and file it with the court, click to visit Basics of Court Forms and Filing.
What happens when I file my objection with the court?
When you file your objection with the court, the court clerk will set a hearing. The hearing date will be no later than seven judicial days after your objection is filed. (NRS 21.112(6).)
Am I required to serve a copy of my objection on the judgment debtor?
Yes. Not less than five judicial days before the date set for the hearing, you must serve notice of the date of the hearing on the judgment debtor, the sheriff or constable involved in the execution, and any garnishee (the judgment debtor’s employer or bank, for example). (NRS 21.112(3).)
Because the hearing takes places within seven judicial days after you file – and you are required to give the other side notice not less than five days before the hearing – you must serve all parties with your objection and the hearing date as quickly as possible. If the judge is not satisfied that the other side received notice, she is unlikely to take any action at the hearing.
What happens at the hearing on my objection?
At the hearing, the judgment debtor who filed the Claim of Exemption will have the burden to prove to the court that he is entitled to the claimed exemptions. Depending on the exemption at issue, his proof might include, for example, a letter from the government, an annual statement from a pension fund, receipts for payment, copies of checks, records from financial institutions or any other document that demonstrates that the money in his account or possession is exempt.
Based upon the evidence and information presented by the judgment debtor, the judge will issue a ruling upholding the exemption, denying the exemption, or something else.
Should I take anything to the hearing with me?
Yes. Take an order to the hearing for the judge to sign after she makes her decision. A proposed order the court can use to grant or deny an exemption is available at the Self-Help Center, or you can download it on your computer by clicking one of the formats underneath the form’s title below:
If the judge signs your order, file the signed order with the court clerk.
After the order is filed, complete a Notice of Entry of Order. Attach a copy of the signed and filed order to the Notice of Entry of Order and file the notice with the court clerk. Then mail the notice (and attached order) to the judgment debtor and all other interested parties (the sheriff or constable, the judgment debtor’s employer or bank, and the like). A Notice of Entry of Order is available for free at the Self-Help Center, or you can download the form by clicking one of the formats underneath the form’s title below:
JUSTICE COURT NOTICE OF ENTRY OF ORDER
DISTRICT COURT NOTICE OF ENTRY OF ORDER
What happens after the judge makes a decision on the exemption and my objection?
Typically, if the judge denies the judgment debtor’s claimed exemption, any money or property being held by the sheriff or constable is released to the judgment creditor. If the judge upholds the judgment debtor’s exemption, the money or property is released to the judgment debtor.
What options do I have to collect my judgment if the judge upholds the judgment debtor’s exemptions?
Just because the judgment debtor has particular types of assets that are protected, that does not necessarily mean all his assets are protected. If you know of other non-exempt assets of the judgment debtor’s, you can try to execute against them. To learn how to identify a judgment debtor’s assets, click to visit Getting Information About a Judgment Debtor’s Assets.
Otherwise, remember that a judgment debtor’s claim to an exemption does not apply for all time. The judgment debtor might be exempt from execution now, but he might not be in the future. If the judgment debtor’s financial circumstances change, you can try to execute your judgment again.
A Nevada judgment will expire within six years from the date it is entered in the case unless it is renewed. To renew a judgment, the judgment creditor files a Declaration for Renewal of Judgment with the clerk of the court where the judgment was entered within ninety days before the date the judgment is set to expire. Any judgment liens the judgment creditor has placed on the judgment debtor’s property must also be renewed. For more information, click to visit Overview of Civil Judgment and Collection.