What is an examination hearing in Small Claims Court?

Once the plaintiff is granted judgment, and the defendant (debtor) has not paid the money owing, the plaintiff can ask the court to hold a hearing about the defendant’s finances. This is called an examination hearing.  Although this hearing is not mandatory, it allows the plaintiff to get information about the defendant’s finances in order to collect. The plaintiff files a Notice of Examination form and an Affidavit for Enforcement Request with the court, and serves them on the debtor.

For debtors who are individuals, the plaintiff will have to serve the noted above documents together with a blank Financial Information Form. Upon completion by the defendant (debtor), they must give a copy to the plaintiff and the judge.

At the examination hearing the defendant will provide information regarding their employment, income, property, bank accounts, debts, expenses and reasons for not paying. Once this information is collected, the judge may order the debtor to make payments on certain dates.

If the debtor does not make the payments ordered, there are two options for trying to get the money:

  1. Garnishment (e.g., bank accounts or wages)
  2. Seizure and sale of personal property or land.

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