I once won a small claims action against a deadbeat client. The guy was a logger - 3rd generation - he owned a Cat skidder and his wife owned and operated the local (rural) tavern called Falls Inn (it was actually built over a creek next to a 15" high waterfall). I built and installed some kitchen cabinets for them and while the job was in progress he hurt his back and was laid up for some time. Because of that I didn't press him very hard to pay right away, hoping he would recover soon and get back to work (he specialized in logging poles - tall straight Western Red Cedar and Tamarack, sometimes 80'-100' - long it paid really well). After about a year I went to their house to talk about getting paid. They were always very friendly and apologetic, not hostile or anything. When I went in the house the first thing the wife did was hurry over to the couch to pick up a bit of skimpy lingerie, explaining, "We had company over last night..." (Now that's an explanation that will put you off of your train of thought - her tits were humongous, BTW).

I also saw that Doug (I'll call him Doug because that was his name) was lounging in front of a giant screen TV (it was in the 80's, so very expensive - cost more than he owed me). He noticed me looking at it with a pained expression on my face and quickly said, "I needed something to keep from going crazy while trying to recover." That helped to steel my resolve and I told him I was going to have to file a claim in court against him if he didn't start paying up right away. He apologized for being a deadbeat before saying, "Do what you have to do, it's the only way to get anything out of me."

So I filed and won a judgement for the amount plus 18% interest. Then is when I learned that the process was only half done - I still needed to collect.

This is the main point of this post - I learned that in order to seize property or garnish wages, you have to ask the court for a "Writ of Execution", which, in spite of the enormous hassle of the whole process, I found to be very humorous (and still do to this day).

As it happened, Doug went back to pole cutting about that time and with a Writ of Execution you can garnish wages by serving a person's employer (or pole buyer in this case where Doug was a contractor/vendor) for up to 20% of their monthly income until paid off. I think the amount was $1800 and I was paid in full in two months.

You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.
R. Buckminster Fuller