When the court makes a judgment in a claim, the person who was successful is called the judgment creditor. This normally means the decision went in their favour and they are owed money. The unsuccessful person who needs to pay the judgment debt is the judgment debtor.
Will you get your money if you have won?
After court, the judgment debtor may not be willing or able to pay a judgment debt, for example, they may not have any savings or income or property that can be used to pay so the money may never be recovered.
A judgment creditor can apply to the court for an enforcement order to force the judgment debtor to pay the judgment debt.
All civil judgments made in the Magistrates Court are enforced under the Civil Judgments Enforcement Act 2004 (WA).
A judgment creditor can enforce a judgment immediately after it is made, or can wait for up to 12 years before they start to enforce the judgment. If it has been at least six years since the judgment was made, the judgment creditor must ask permission from the court to take enforcement action.
Interest is payable on a judgment from the date of the judgment and is currently paid at the rate of 6%, unless the court orders otherwise.
There are different orders the court can make to have a judgment enforced. Some of those orders can only be made if the court has held a means inquiry, to see what money and assets the judgment debtor has available.
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