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Those corporations are just as subject to these kinds of laws (there are other laws that they are de facto immune from but let's not get into that). The bank of america case elsewhere cited is a famous example.

In my case, a few years ago: ADP double-debited our $250K IRS payroll tax deposit from our payroll account (pro tip: never allow third parties to make automatic withdrawals from your main bank account -- use a dedicated account you top up as needed). This would have caused employees' paychecks to bounce except my bank kindly called me first and I was able to move money across.

ADP didn't care: their position was they had sent the money to the IRS; I could get a credit from the IRS next quarter and it was none of ADP's business. I finally got through to the head of the nor cal region. Not only was he unsympathetic, he complained, "I don't know why you insist saying we 'took' your money -- we don't have your money, the IRS does. We didn't take anything, we don't even have much of a bank account." So I decided to agree with him: "You're right, I shouldn't say that. The correct term is 'felony grand larceny.' If the money isn't back in my account by the time the fed wire closes I'll take it up with the Santa Clara County Sheriff." (By that time it was about noon, so they only had about an hour to get their act together, having frittered away all morning with call centers and intransigence).

Remarkably, the F500 company that had "no possible way" to send me my money was able to get the $250K to me within the hour. They do not want to deal with the local sheriff.


A friend of mine is an attorney. His client had a judgement against a relatively small bank. In his words, the bank was being a "horse's ass" and not paying.

He got a judge to sign off on the sheriff assisting in collection. The client was about to be a proud owner of the servers run by the bank.

When the sheriff arrived, the bank manager immediately called their attorney to call the client's attorney (my friend) and tell him they're writing a check.

Sometimes companies just need a bit of persuasion.


A well publicized example happened during the mortgage crisis where a couple foreclosed on a Bank of America branch in Florida after BoA refused to pay court ordered restitution: http://business.time.com/2011/06/06/homeowner-forecloses-on-...


> When the sheriff arrived, the bank manager immediately called their attorney to call the client's attorney (my friend) and tell him they're writing a check.

I've always wondered what happens if you say too bad so sad, you had your chance - I don't believe you that the check is "in the mail". Will the Sheriff still let you collect assets?

If so, I'd absolutely cause them as much pain as possible. Typically in these cases you've already lost tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and lost time, so the goal isn't recovering your money - it's simply extracting as much pain as possible.


I actually asked that exact question. Ultimately the person wanted cash, and the best way to do that isn't to let the servers go to the sheriff's sale. But it sounded like if the person had FU money and didn't even care, they could have gotten the server.


I think the sheriff would rather not be collecting the hardware (unless he/she hastes the bank too) and would be quite happy if the person settled for a check at the last minute. Less work.

When I went to small claims the first thing the judge did was make everybody talk to their opponent in the hope that they would just find a settlement and save the judge's time.


Important point you touched on there. In the case of businesses you should always use zero balance accounts for checks, EFTs, ACHs, etc. The smaller your business, the more you're at risk of an existential threat if someone takes money from your master account unexpectedly or for the wrong amount.


Just walk into their office with a court order and start taking items. I would grab laptops first. Cops will show, then after they see the court order they will help you start bagging things.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ctLEGrOmf4


> Just walk into their office with a court order and start taking items

Absolutely do not do this. Go to the police station (edit: court) first, with the court order, and explain your need for armed escort.


I thought this was the jurisdiction of the Sheriff who works for the court.

* Cops and Sheriffs are completely different.


You are correct.


In my state you can get a court order to a court officer to seize property. Do not do it yourself. I once had a judgment against someone and I hired the court officer to go to the defendant's house and start towing his cars. I immediately got a call and cash in my hand within an hour.


This sounds more of a fantasy (I don't deny that what they showed in the video happened but I'd be careful about assuming it generalizes) and I'd not recommend others trying similar stunts.



It's not a fantasy. Uncollected judgements can be enforced through direct property seizure if you follow your State's laws. Typically you call law enforcement first and pay them a fee for an escort to seize the property. For businesses, you typically schedule the law enforcement escort for the end of the day so you can seize the cash in the cash register. If I remember correctly, it costs around $75 to have our local county sheriff escort you for property seizure for a judgement.


> pay them a fee for an escort to seize the property

A fee? Isn't it their job to help enforce the law, being law enforcement officers?


A judgement against someone else is a civil affair, not a criminal issue. Law enforcement officers enforce criminal law as a matter of course. In a lawsuit when one person owes money to another due to a judgement, that debt is private and you have to bear the costs of the state in enforcing your debt using law enforcement officers.

Just like police officers at a concert aren't staffed for free, even though their only purpose is to enforce the laws and/or facilitate traffic. You could argue that enforcing those laws and facilitating that traffic is their job, but those putting on the concert are creating the need for extra law enforcement and want them on hand, so they have to pay.


Thanks for the explanation.

I believe that here in the UK, the police will either decide you deserve an escort and provide you with one, or decide you don't need one and refuse to provide one.

I could be mistaken, but I believe bailiffs are essentially expected to take on the risk and confrontation as part of their job, a bit like ticket-inspectors on trains, or the folks that tow away illegally parked cars from privately owned car parks.

The police can and do charge for special policing of public events, though - http://www.npcc.police.uk/documents/finance/2015/NPCC%20Guid... , http://www.isanuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/ISAN-Guidan...


Sure, unless you're black.


The sheriff will enforce the order wherever Equifax has a presence.

See Bank of America: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2011/06/06/137002727...


I'll believe it when the money actually gets deposited into an account he owns.




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