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Motion for assignment order in California

A motion for an assignment order in California is the topic of this blog post.  An assignment order can be very useful to someone attempting to collect a judgment in California.

Many times someone attempting to collect a California judgment will be unable to collect as theycannot locate any assets such as a bank account or car that may be seized to satisfy the judgment. Or the judgment debtor may be self-employed making a wage garnishment impossible. These types of situations are where an assignment order can allow someone to collect on a judgment that would otherwise be uncollectible. Many persons working in the judgment recovery field will testify to the effectiveness of an assignment order.

Code of Civil Procedure § 708.510 authorizes a Court to issue an order directing the Judgment Debtor to assign to a Judgment Creditor, all or part of a right to payment due, or to become due, including

1. Wages due from the federal government that are not subject to withholding under an earnings withholding order;

2. Other payments such as rents, commissions, royalties, payments due from a patent or copyright, insurance policy loan value, accounts receivable, general intangibles, judgments and instruments.

Although the Court may take into consideration all relevant factors, the sole constraints placed on the Court are that the right to payment be assigned only to the extent necessary to satisfy the creditor’s money judgment and that, where part of the payments are exempt, the amount of the payments assigned should not exceed the difference between the gross amount of the payments and the exempt amount.

Note that a California Court of Appeal has ruled that just because a right to payment has been ordered assigned under Code of Civil Procedure § 708.510, that does not preclude a challenge to whether the claims were assignable ab initio; the Legislature specifically noted that § 708.510 does not make any property assignable that is not already assignable. See Kracht v. Perrin, Gartland & Doyle (1990) 219 Cal App 3d 1019, 1022. In this case the Court ruled that a right to receive payment from a malpractice suit could not be assigned.

In an unusual case involving the Estate of Ferdinand Marcos, the Court ordered his Estate to assign the funds held in Swiss bank accounts in favor of the plaintiffs who had sued the Estate for damages resulting from torture, summary execution, and disappearances during his regime. The judgment which was entered in the United States District Court in Hawaii, had been transferred to a district court in California for enforcement purposes.

Estate of former Philippines president ordered to execute assignment of funds in Swiss banks in favor of the class and individual plaintiffs. Case law interpreting California statute on assignment of right to payment in enforcement of a judgment has consistently upheld a court’s power to require debtors to assign their interests in debts or other property. The statute and its case law permitted an order of assignment of the estate’s interests in the foreign bank accounts for the benefit of the judgment creditors, class action plaintiffs. See In re Estate of Marcos Human Rights Litig. (1995, DC Hawaii) 910 F Supp 1470, 1473.

This case clearly shows that an assignment order can be used to reach almost any asset of a Judgment Debtor.

Code of Civil Procedure § 708.520 authorizes the Court to restrain the Judgment Debtor from assigning or otherwise disposing of the right to payment sought to be assigned upon a showing of need. This is important as otherwise the Judgment Debtor may assign the right to payment to someone else or otherwise attempt to evade collection efforts.

Attorneys or parties in California who wish to view a portion of a sample motion for assignment order for California that is sold by the author please see below.

 

Attorneys or parties in California that would like more information on a California law and motion litigation document package containing over 55 sample documents including a sample motion for assignment order can use the link shown below.

California law and motion litigation document package

The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is a freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995.

Subscribe to his weekly newsletter with legal tips and tricks for California.  http://www.legaldocspro.net/newsletter.htm

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