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Langer v. Chula Vista Rentals, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. California

July 16, 2019

CHRIS LANGER, Plaintiff,
v.
CHULA VISTA RENTALS, LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING APPLICATION FOR APPEARANCE AND DEBTOR EXAMINATION [ECF NO. 21]

          HON JILL L. BURKHARDT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         On July 14, 2019, Plaintiff and Judgment Creditor Chris Langer filed an Application for Appearance and Debtor Examination for Defendant and Judgment Debtor Chula Vista Rentals, LLC. (ECF No. 21.) For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS Judgment Creditor's application.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On April 29, 2019, the District Court granted Judgment Creditor's Motion for Default Judgment and Request to Affix Attorneys' Fees and Costs and awarded Judgment Creditor $4, 000 in statutory damages and $4, 972.50 in attorneys' fees and costs. (ECF No. 12 at 11.)

         On July 2, 2019, Judgment Creditor filed an Application for Appearance and Debtor Examination (ECF No. 17), which the Court denied without prejudice (ECF No. 20). On July 14, 2019, Judgment Creditor filed the instant Application for Appearance and Debtor Examination. (ECF No. 21.) Counsel for Judgment Creditor declares under penalty of perjury that the judgment issued on April 29, 2019, for $8, 972.50 has not been paid. (Id. ¶¶ 2-3.)

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Applicable Law

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 69 authorizes federal courts to enforce a money judgment by writ of execution. Fed.R.Civ.P. 69(a)(1). “The procedure on execution- and in proceedings supplementary to and in aid of judgment or execution-must accord with the procedure of the state where the court is located, but a federal statute governs to the extent it applies.” Id. Accordingly, in ruling on Judgment Creditor's motion, the Court follows California's statutory provisions for the enforcement of judgments, known collectively as the Enforcement of Judgments Law, as set forth in California Code of Civil Procedure §§ 680.010 through 724.260.

         Judgment debtor proceedings under California law “permit the judgment creditor to examine the judgment debtor, or third persons who have property of or are indebted to the judgment debtor, in order to discover property and apply it toward the satisfaction of the money judgment.” Imperial Bank v. Pim Elec., Inc., 39 Cal.Rptr.2d 432, 437 (Ct. App. 1995). Debtor examinations are intended “to allow the judgment creditor a wide scope of inquiry concerning property and business affairs of the judgment debtor, ” Hooser v. Superior Court, 101 Cal.Rptr.2d 341, 345 (Ct. App. 2000), disapproved on other grounds by Williams v. Superior Court, 3 Cal. 5th 531 (2017), and “to leave no stone unturned in the search for assets which might be used to satisfy the judgment, ” Troy v. Superior Court, 231 Cal.Rptr. 108, 112 (Ct. App. 1986).

         California Code of Civil Procedure § 708.110 provides:

(a) The judgment creditor may apply to the proper court for an order requiring the judgment debtor to appear before the court, or before a referee appointed by the court, at a time and place specified in the order, to furnish information to aid in enforcement of the money judgment.
(b) If the judgment creditor has not caused the judgment debtor to be examined under this section during the preceding 120 days, the court shall make the order upon ex parte application of the judgment creditor.
(c) If the judgment creditor has caused the judgment debtor to be examined under this section during the preceding 120 days, the court shall make the order if the judgment creditor by affidavit of otherwise shows good cause for the order. The application shall be made on noticed motion if the court so directs or a court rule so requires. Otherwise, it may be made ex parte.
(d) The judgment creditor shall personally serve a copy of the order on the judgment debtor not less than 10 days before the date set for examination. Service shall be made in the manner specified in Section 145.10. Service of the order creates a lien on the personal property of the judgment debtor for a period of one ...

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