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How Do I Collect My Money?

A money judgment in your favor does not necessarily mean that the money will be paid. The Small Claims Court does not collect the judgment for you. If no appeal is taken and the judgment is not paid within 30 days, or the time set by the court in the payment plan, you may request (in writing) that the judgment be transferred into the civil docket of the court and pay a fee of $20. Click here for the transfer form. At that time you may proceed with a method of collection such as garnishment of wages, bank accounts, and other monies of the defendant or an execution may be issued on cars, boats, or other personal property of the judgment debtor. Remember, the clerks cannot give you legal advice. You may need the assistance of an attorney or collection agency at this point. In the alternative, upon payment of $20.00, you will receive a transcript of judgment which you can file in the Superior Court for a fee. Other fees may be required by the Superior Court Clerk or County Auditor. When this is done, it places a lien against all real estate in the name of the judgment debtor that is located in the county.

When the judgment has been paid in full you must send written notice to the district court that the judgment has been satisfied.

Can You Appeal A Case If You Lose?

The party who files a claim or counterclaim cannot appeal unless the amount claimed exceeds $1,000. No party may appeal a judgment where the amount claimed is less than $250. If an appeal is taken to the Superior Court, the appealing party is required to follow the procedures set out in Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 12.36. The appeal will be considered from the record of the proceedings the district court sends to Superior Court.

To appeal, the following steps must be taken within 30 days of the entry of judgment:

    1. Prepare a written Notice of Appeal, Case Information Cover Sheet (CICS) and file it with the district court. Notice of Appeal forms may be obtained from the clerk of the court, the CICS form may be obtained from the clerk of the court or click here.
    2. Serve a copy of that Notice on the other parties, and file acknowledgment or affidavit of service in district court.
    3. Deposit at the district court the $220 Superior Court Filing Fee either in money order, or cashier's check payable to the Clerk of the Superior Court.
    4. Post a bond in a sum equal to twice the amount of judgment and costs, or twice the amount in controversy, whichever is greater, (surety) made payable to Clerk of the Superior Court at the district court. When the appeal and bond are transferred to Superior Court, the appellant (person appealing the decision) may request that the Superior Court suspend enforcement of the judgment until after the appeal is heard.
    5. Pay a $40 appeal preparation processing fee to the district court. Upon payment of such costs, the record shall be certified and forwarded to the superior court. The appeal will be considered on the record from the district court.

Within 14 days of filing the Notice of Appeal, the district court clerk will transmit the court record to the Superior Court Clerk who will assign a new number and notify the district court. The district court clerk will advise the appellant of that number, and the appellant must then contact the Superior Court for further instructions.

Once the judgment has been appealed to the Superior Court, enforcement of any judgments entered in the case will be handled in Superior Court in the same manner as any other Superior Court judgment.

For a printable copy of the appeal instructions, please click here.