Debtor Exams Compared With Depositions

There’s a important distinctions between prejudgment depositions and post-judgment debtor exams, which are often abbreviated as JDXs. (JDXs are also called ORAPs – ORders to APpear, or OEXs – Orders for a debtor’s EXamination.). This article has California as the example, although the ideas discussed here are related to those in most jurisdictions.

This article is my opinion and is not, a legal opinion. I am a judgment solutions expert, and not a lawyer. When you ever need a strategy to use or legal advice, please contact an attorney.

In California, there’s not anything like a post judgment deposition. Depositions are sent before the judgment; during lawsuits, most often during the discovery period. You don’t need to keep an attorney present for a deposition (or for a judgment debtor examination). There’s 3 main differences between a deposition and a judgment debtor examination:

1) In most jurisdictions, depositions are usually with active lawsuits, judgment debtor exams are always used in post-judgment situations.

2) Pre-judgment depositions are subject to a wide variety of possible objections in response to questions and requests for evidence or documents. judgment debtor examinations are very rarely subject to successful objections to any question, or (when proper procedures are observed) to produce records.

3) The defendants in a pre-judgment deposition can invoke several rights to not answer a question, whereas in a post judgment exam, it’s rare that a judgment debtor may refuse to answer questions, although debtors may lie any time they want.

If it is a prejudgment deposition, a deposition-related subpoena is served, and if that subpoena orders the deponent to appear in court; then the court reporter swears the deponent in and records the deponent’s answers, and it becomes admissible evidence.

In a judgment debtor exam, all evidence that you find (as an example by maybe hiring a professional court reporter) is for your own use; it is not filed with the court. You can use all information you discover as either a possible lead toward assets to try to levy later, or some clue about who to subpoena next to be a 3rd-party witness; or to maybe help with some possible new (e.g., fraudulent creditor transfer) lawsuit.

At your judgment debtor examination, the specific form of a question you ask isn’t grounds for a judgment debtor not to answer a questions. An attorney can object to a question, although after that the respondent (which can be a 3rd-party witness, however usually is the judgment debtor) most often must answer your question or they may lie. See Stewart vs Colonial Western Agency 87 Cal. App. 4th 1006.

Many experts and attorneys start visit our website depositions and/or debtor exams with their direct questions, and only recite admonitions (briefly reminding people on laws or penalties) if necessary. Admonitions are most often recited when the debtor’s testimony is about to “get good” (the deponent is about to start lying).

The 1986 civil discovery act doesn’t apply in judgment debtor examinations. Because judgment debtor examinations aren’t court trials, it’s difficult to comprehend some lawyer starting some motion after the exam to exclude answers provided at the judgment debtor’s examination, as they would in their deposition, to exclude answers for a lawsuit trial.

In post judgment examinations, the court order commanding your judgment debtor or a 3rd-party to show up at your exam, is the sole method of getting post-judgment testimony. Judgment debtor examinations are always court proceedings, although they most often happen primarily inside a jury room or in the hall area, instead of inside the courtroom.

A judgment debtor examination becomes a hearing in public, and courts immediately rules on any objections. Some depositions are not heard in courts; some are done by mailing them or at an attorney’s office, etc. Getting relief to objections on a deposition request most often requires a noticed motion. At certain courts, a judge might decide deposition disputes over the phone.

The range of questions one can ask at a debtor exam is far more expansive than with depositions. While the general rule is that generally rules are generally not applicable; in California the spousal privilege does not often apply in an examination proceeding, as per Code of Civil Procedure 708.130.
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