Can a Texas collections lawyer have you arrested in Florida?
Recently we obtained a judgment against a gentleman that moved to Florida. We then proceeded to give him the usual treatment. Interrogatories, Requests for Production and then a Deposition notice.
He refused to answer any of the discovery and so we obtained an order compelling him to not only produce answers and responses, but to appear for a deposition. All of which he ignored. This is standard behavior from a debtor in denial.
We then sought to have the Judge determine that the Florida gentleman was in contempt of court for ignoring the Judge's orders, which he was and which the Judge was all too happy to sign. Then the Judge signed a writ of attachment, which directs the local constable or sheriff to go pick the guy up and bring him to the Court to answer for disregarding the Court's orders. Of course, the problem is that the Florida Gentleman is in Florida and our writ of attachment is here in Texas. But then we thought, "what happens if we just send this writ of attachment to Florida? Would they arrest him there? Would they extradite him?"
Then the Florida gentleman hired a Florida Attorney and Darrell Cook had the following conversation with the Florida Attorney (FA):
FA: You know that writ of attachment to arrest the Florida Gentleman is not valid here in Florida. No Sheriff will serve it, you understand that, right?
DWC: What I understand is that I have an order from a Texas court for the arrest of the Florida Gentleman and that I am going to send that order to the Sheriff there in his hometown. I have no idea whether a Florida sheriff will arrest him or not and whether or not he can be extradited to Texas based on this writ.
FA: Now, you know very well the Florida Gentleman won't be arrested here.
DWC: Actually I do not know whether he will be arrested or not, but we are going to find out.
We then sent the writ to the local Sheriff, with a copy sent to the Florida Lawyer and the next day we settled the case.
So the answer to the question "Can you get arrested in Florida" is "I don't know."
If we have an advantage we like to press that advantage. Even when we do not necessarily know where it leads. Why? Because the secret to collecting debt is staying on the debtor's mind. Debt collection is far more about the mental aspect of the collection process than it is the physical confiscation of assets.
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