In California, the term “judgment creditor” refers to a party in whose favor a judgment is entered whereas “judgment debtor” refers to the adversary or party against whom the judgment is entered.


Subsequent to entry, the judgment creditor has the obligation to enforce the judgment because a Court will not.  Thus, the judgment creditor must act diligently to obtain, and perfect its lien, identify assets subject to levy, and execute on its judgment.

Examples of what the Law Office of D. Joshua Staub can do to assist in collecting a California judgment include:

  1. Levy (seize) assets that you have personal knowledge of or listed on the Judgment Debtor’s Statement of Assets form.
  2. Examine judgment debtor in court to locate unknown assets.
  3. Suspend the judgment debtor’s driver’s license the judgment is for auto accident.
  4. Suspend the judgment debtor’s professional license (example: Contractor’s License).
  5. Place a lien on land, buildings, or residence.
  6. Perform judgment debtor discovery
  7. Perfect liens on the judgment debtor’s assets
  8. Garnish the judgment debtor’s wages

Sister State Judgments

In California, a “Sister state judgment” means that part of any judgment, decree, or order of a court of a state of the United States, other than California, which requires the payment of money, but does not include a support order.  “Support” generally means an obligation owing on behalf of a child, spouse, or family.  Thus, if one has a judgment against judgment debtor who has property subject to levy in California, one can apply for entry of that judgment in California to reach those assets in satisfaction of the judgment once entered.

A judgment creditor or assignee can apply to have the sister state judgment entered as a judgment in California.  A judgment creditor files an application supported by statements with a superior court in the County in which the judgment debtor resides, or if the judgment debtor does not reside in California then in any superior court.

Foreign-Country Judgments under the Uniform Foreign-County Money Judgments Recognition Act

A judgment of a foreign court can be entered in California subject to various exceptions which include judgments for taxes, fines, penalties, support, divorce, maintenance, or domestic relations.  Under principles of comity, however, a judgment for support, divorce, maintenance, or domestic relations may be recognized.

Tribal Court Money Judgments under the Tribal Court Civil Money Judgments Act

A judgment creditor can apply to enter the judgment of a court or tribunal of any federally recognized Indian nation, tribe, pueblo, hand, or Alaska Native village, duly established under tribal or federal law, including Courts of Indian Offenses under Part 11 of Title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in California.

We have experience in these proceedings, and can assist judgment debtors or judgment creditors in matters involving the enforcement of California judgments, and the entry of sister state judgments, foreign-country judgments, and tribal court money judgments.