My question involves judgment recovery in the State of: Florida
When I moved out of the duplex I was renting 2 years ago, my landlord never gave me back my security deposit. The property was in better shape when I left it than it was when I moved in (painted the inside, cleaned, fixed holes in the wall, etc). But that's besides the point, because she never inspected the property after I moved out (I asked her) and after 30 days she had not mailed or even verbally said that she intended to make a claim on my security deposit, waiving her right to it in any way. She gave me the runaround for a few months before I hired an attorney to go after it in small claims court.
My attorney was extremely slow about everything he did, but finally we won in court because she never showed up for the hearing and a default judgment was issued in my favor(took my attorney almost a year to do this). The total amount for the judgment is around $1000. This was over a year ago, and the lawyer has not done anything since. He stopped taking my calls and responded to my emails(sent one every week or two) every 4 months or so, saying that in order to collect we need to do this and that, and I said ok, let's do that... only to never hear anything back!
Finally, I got tired of being ignored and I decided to start trying to collect myself. I searched the court's records and found that my lawyer misspelled the defendant's last name on the judgment (and ALL other paperwork has the correct spelling of her name), so basically I have a judgment against someone who does not exist! I put in several motions to the judge to change the spelling of the defendant's name, but the judge keeps denying the motions and refuses to give me a reason. I later found out that I can't file a motion to change her name on the judgment because too much time has passed since the judgment was issued.
On another forum they are telling me that it should not be a problem collecting on this judgment because all of the other paperwork previously mailed to her regarding this case was spelled correctly and although she did not respond to anything, she signed for the stuff that was sent to her according to the court's records. from what i can tell, she was properly served all of the necessary papers... i asked the court what constitutes "properly served" and they said regular mail, certified mail, and process server. everything the court sent out was regular mail, and everything the lawyer sent was certified mail.
So, I ant to make sure that collecting on this judgment should not be a problem before I waste money go after it. Also, what is the best way to collect on this judgment? the defendant owns several rental properties, and has a few cars worth around $5k each... i verified all the vehicles she owns through the state of Florida DMV records, I have a way to do this She is self employed and head of the household so I don't think I can garnish any wages. I don't know what s she has in any bank accounts. I was thinking the best way to go about it is get a writ of execution to seize on of her cars, but it's a $1000 deposit to do that so I want to be 100% sure that the misspelled name is not an issue.
Any input on my situation would be great. Thanks for taking the time to read through this.