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Juan Fernandez-Barquin
Clerk of the Court and Comptroller
Miami-Dade County

Collection of a Judgment and Enforcing a Foreign Judgment

Anyone wishing to place a lien against someone first has to sue that person in small claims court and present evidence that the services rendered were not paid for.

If you want to have your final judgment entered as a lien against a real property owned by the defendant, you must obtain a certified copy at the location where your case was heard and then have it recorded at County Recorder's Office. See below for a complete list of our fees.

The recorded final judgment will serve as a lien for up to 20 years from the date the judgment was signed but must be re-recorded every 10 years to stay in effect.

The Clerk's Office can also assist you in enforcing a foreign judgment.

Garnishment of Wages

If you know the name and address of the employer or the bank of the defendant, you may want to use the process of garnishment.

This is an order issued by the deputy clerk in which a third party, usually an employer or a bank, is told to hold the money until a hearing is held. At the hearing, a judge decides if the money should be awarded to you.

Writ of Execution

A Writ of Execution may be issued by a deputy clerk upon request. A Writ of Execution commands the Sheriff's Department to make demand for the amount of your final judgment from the defendant.  
This is only effective if you obtain an Instruction for Levy form from the Sheriff's Office. Complete it, provide the description and location of the property the sheriff can take from the defendant and put up for auction. 
If you do not know the employer or bank of the defendant and if you do not know the location of any property which might be subject to a Writ of Execution, you may file a motion with the Clerk's Office for a Hearing in Aid of Execution.  
The judge will then issue an order for the hearing and the defendants will be served with the order and a fact information sheet.  At the hearing, the defendant will be required to reveal assets, employment and sources of income to the judge. 

Copies of Judgments

Copies of items in civil case files can be obtained by visiting our office in person or mailing in your request. See below for a list of our copy and certify fees. 
When mailing in your request please include a self-addressed stamped envelope along with the appropriate fees. 

Enforcing a Foreign Judgment

To enforce a Foreign Judgment under Chapter 55 of the Florida Statutes in Miami-Dade County, submit the following documents and fees in person or by mail:

  • A certified copy of the foreign judgment along with a non-certified copy
  • The judgment creditor shall file an original and copy of an affidavit with:
    • Name
    • Social Security number, if known
    • Last known post-office address of the judgment debtor
    • Address of the judgment creditor (and attorney's name, address, phone number and bar number) 

The enforcement of the foreign judgment is jurisdictional.  The amount of the judgment determines which court this matter will be filed in.  A judgment for less than $30,000 is filed in County Court whereas a judgment in excess of $30,000 is filed in Circuit Court. The appropriate fees as listed below must be made payable to the Clerk of the Court and Comptroller.

Filing a Writ of Garnishment

Do not compute the amount of interest into the total amount due on your Motion and Writ of Garnishment.  You may indicate that interest is owed, what percent and from what date, but do not add this amount to your judgment.

Your Writ of Garnishment must include the garnishee's address. Three (3) copies of the writ are required, but only the original signed motion is required.

For further information regarding Writs of Garnishment, please contact the Court Registry Unit at:

Miami-Dade County Courthouse
 73 West Flagler Street, Room 138
Miami, Florida 33130

These instructions apply only to state court. For additional information  you may refer to the Florida Statutes, Chapter 55, specifically 55.501 through 55.509, the "Florida Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act."

Filing fees are based upon the jurisdictional amount of the judgment. 

Recording fees are based upon the number of pages in each document. For recording purposes the judgment and the affidavit are separate documents. 

Postage fees cover the cost of the registered mailing of the notice of recording of foreign judgment to each debtor as set forth in the affidavit of judgment creditor.

Upon receipt of the appropriate documents and fees, the Clerk of the Court will record the documents and send out the notice of recording. The attorney submitting the judgment will receive a courtesy copy of the notice indicating judgment may be contested before becoming a lien. 

Upon submission of proper forms, the clerk may then issue a Writ of Execution or a Writ of Garnishment. 
  • Adoptions, including sealing the file - $443
  • Dissolution of marriage - $409
  • All other actions(except non-domestic petitions) - $301
  • Non-domestic-related petitions - $401
  • Each defendant in excess of 5 - $2.50
  • Appeal to District Court of Appeals (Check written to District Court) - $300
  • Appeal to District Court of Appeals (Collected by Clerk) - $100
  • Proceedings of garnishment, attachment, replevins and distress - $85
  • Filing fee for reopening a case - $50
  • Attorney appearing pro hac vice - $100
  • Notice of recording foreign judgments - new suits - $42
  • Cross claim, counterclaim 3rd party complaint filing fee - $295
  • Maintain professional guardian files - $7.50

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