Newmarket-based paralegal Dougall Grange knows all too well that obtaining a judgment is just the beginning of collecting on an outstanding debt. Executing the judgment so your client gets paid is often a whole new challenge.
Decades of work in legal services have gone into Grange’s new venture, Public Executions, Inc. — a Canada-wide civil judgment enforcement service.
The internet-based service enables judgment creditors to use “crowdsourcing” technology to obtain information needed to enforce monetary judgments across the country. “It’s a new concept,” Grange says. “But I know that once paralegals use it and come to understand how it works they will see what a useful service this is.”
Judgment enforcement can be expensive and difficult; this is a serious impediment to access to justice, especially with unco-operative debtors who don’t have a known single-employer source of income, Grange says. “This is what we are trying to overcome. Some people and companies structure themselves with the intent of making themselves immune to our legal system. By prominently publishing on the Internet the names of those who do not pay when ordered to, we can protect the public and motivate debtors to pay, all at the same time.”
The website offers judgment creditors a structured platform from which to publish their enforceable judgments, along with other information, including photographs, sufficient to identify the relevant judgment debtors. Each judgment debtor is assigned a distinct URL, which makes each posting highly visible on the Web. The website’s database is searchable in many ways including by name, location, judgment amount and judgments offering a reward.
“A judgment debtor won’t want his name on our website,” Grange says. “That alone is a motivating factor to pay off the outstanding judgment. And, the fact that the judgment debtor is listed is useful information for anyone wondering whether or not to do business with that person.”
Both judgment debtors and tipsters can contact the creditor directly by posting a tip which will be automatically emailed to the creditor. Creditors have the option to offer a reward for information, pursuant to a fixed contract.
Grange spent years developing the model and tweaking the components, including the necessary contracts and affidavits.
“The process is modelled on filing a writ with the sheriff,” Grange says. “If you’re willing to put in the effort, this will really work for you. We make the platform available and establish the rules, but our role is simply that of a facilitator.”
Judgments are posted for six years and can be renewed. The publication must be removed once the debt is paid. This requirement ensures that published information complies with Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
Public Executions, Inc. is letting litigation professionals publish judgments for their clients free of charge, for the rest of the summer.
For further information contact:
CEO & Founder
Public Executions, Inc.
P.O. Box 71039 – 570 Mulock Dr.
Newmarket, ON L3X 1Y8
Paralegal SCOPE Magazine is proud to have Public Executions as a sponsor.