Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 69

Rule 69. Execution

(1) Money Judgment; Applicable Procedure. A money judgment is enforced by a writ of execution, unless the court directs otherwise. The procedure on execution—and in proceedings supplementary to and in aid of judgment or execution—must accord with the procedure of the state where the court is located, but a federal statute governs to the extent it applies.

(2) Obtaining Discovery. In aid of the judgment or execution, the judgment creditor or a successor in interest whose interest appears of record may obtain discovery from any person—including the judgment debtor—as provided in these rules or by the procedure of the state where the court is located.

(b) AGAINST CERTAIN PUBLIC OFFICERS. When a judgment has been entered against a revenue officer in the circumstances stated in 28 U.S.C. § 2006, or against an officer of Congress in the circumstances stated in 2 U.S.C. § 118,1 the judgment must be satisfied as those statutes provide.

Essential Points

  • Winning a case does not mean that the prevailing party automatically gets his money.  Often, he must  find and seize assets that belong to the losing party.
  • Rule 69 provides that a party can conduct discovery to obtain information about the losing party’s assets.  For example, the prevailing party can question the losing party and non-parties to learn the location and amount of the losing party’s assets.

What is discovery?

Discovery is the process where parties acquire and disclose information, usually before trial. A prevailing party in a civil litigation can also conduct discovery to determine where the losing party has assets.