Civil Payment Hearings
Payment hearings are authorized by our Rules of Court. Simply put, a payment hearing is held at the request of a plaintiff who has been granted a judgment specifying that the defendant must pay a certain amount of money in satisfaction of his claim.
The judgment is a final order of this Court. It must be complied with. Its validity is not open to debate in this hearing. A payment hearing is for the sole purpose of determining how the court order is going to be complied with.
The plaintiff has the right to examine each judgment debtor (the party that must pay the plaintiff as a result of the judgment), as to his or her means to pay the judgment at these hearings. Since these questions will require the debtor to reveal information which may be personal and private, our rules requires that all parties not involved in the hearing must wait outside the courtroom until their case is called.
We also recognize in Small Claims Court that the defendants often do not have the immediate means to pay. Therefore, you can propose a payment plan (usually monthly installments) which may be acceptable to the plaintiff. All payments are made to the Office of the High Sheriff.
If a person who has been properly served a summons fails to appear for a payment hearing, at and only at the request of the plaintiff, the Court has the power to issue an arrest warrant to bring the debtor to court to be examined about his or her means to pay.