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Quiroz v. Dickerson

United States District Court, District of Nevada

January 23, 2015

MANUEL QUIROZ, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
JEFFREY A. DICKERSON, Defendant.

ORDER RE: DOC. # 216, SUBPART B: PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR ASSIGNMENT OR TURN-OVER ORDER OF MONIES RECEIVED FROM DICKERSON'S CIVIL CASES

WILLLIAM G. COBB, MAGISTRATE JUDGE

Before the court is Subpart "B" of Plaintiff Quiroz's motion (Doc. # 216), [1] entitled "Plaintiff, Judgment Creditor's Request for A) Court Ordered Payments from Defendant/Debtor Dickerson Towards Satisfying the Judgment, B) For Assignment or Turn-Over Order of Monies Received from Dickerson's Civil Cases and C) for a Monthly Accounting of All Income Received by Dickerson Commencing December 1, 2014 and Thereafter." This Order addresses only subpart B of Plaintiff's Request, i.e., "Assignment or Turn-Over Order of Monies Received from Dickerson's Civil Cases."

The court resolved Plaintiff's motion (Doc. # 216), as well as Defendant's Emergency Request to File Under Seal (Doc. # 224), and Defendant's Motion to Determine SEP Accounts Exempt (Doc.# 220) at a hearing conducted on January 21, 2015. See, Minutes of Proceedings, Doc. # 235.[2] However, because of the novel nature of the "Turn-Over" order entered relative to Plaintiff's writ of execution (Doc. # 162), the court indicated that in addition to its ruling set forth in the court's minutes, the court would also enter its written decision on the issues presented by Subpart B of Doc. # 216.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Manuel Quiroz, Jr., is a judgment creditor of Jeffrey A. Dickerson. (Doc. # 134.) Plaintiff has already obtained a writ of execution against Defendant in the principal amount of $449, 914.00 (Doc. # 162.) After securing a judgment against Defendant, Plaintiff sought an order of this court to require Dickerson to appear for a debtor's examination under oath and to produce certain financial documents at the requested examination. (Doc. # 163.)

When granting Plaintiff's motion for the debtor's examination, the court noted that Fed.R.Civ.P. 69 states that a judgment creditor may seek to enforce a judgment by a writ of execution. (Doc. # 169.) Rule 69 further states that "proceedings supplementary to and in aid of judgment or execution...must accord with the procedures of the state where the court is located." Rule 69(a)(1). The Nevada statutes pertaining to the supplementary proceedings for execution of judgment are found in Chapter 21 of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS 21.270-21.340). Limitations on garnishment on disposable earnings, found in Chapter 31 of the Nevada Revised Statutes, also pertain to these proceedings. The present dispute follows Plaintiff's debtor's examination, the testimony provided by Dickerson at that examination, and the turn-over request in Plaintiff's motion. (Doc. # 221-1, pp. 1-42 (transcript); Doc. # 216 Subpart B.)

ANALYSIS

Plaintiff contends that Defendant Dickerson has continually thwarted any attempt to execute on and satisfy the money judgment Plaintiff has recovered. As pertinent to the pending motion, Plaintiff makes reference to an examination of Defendant under oath at which time Dickerson was "questioned about whether he was to request and/or receive monies from the over 50 Civil Cases wherein he was representing plaintiffs on a contingency basis prior to his State Bar mandated suspension to practice law." (Doc. # 216 at 2.)[3] Although Plaintiff contends he was assured by Defendant that any residual contingent fees to which Defendant might be entitled would be documented to Plaintiff, Quiroz represents that specific information about Defendant's contingency cases has not been received. Plaintiff therefore requests intervention of the court with respect to "the over 50 civil cases" as to which Dickerson may be entitled to fees.[4]

In support of this proposition, Plaintiff cites Nev Rev. Stat. 21.320 in pertinent part, as follows:

[the court] may order property applied toward satisfaction of judgment. The judge or master may order any property of the judgment debtor not exempt from execution in the hands of such debtor or any other person or due to the judgment debtor to be applied toward the satisfaction of the judgment."

(Doc. # 216 at 4.)[5]

Based on this statute, Plaintiff requested the court order "assignment or turn-over such that any monies that Dickerson receives from the aforementioned Civil Cases be turned over to me or the court's registry, towards satisfaction of the Judgment, and that Dickerson be ordered not to dispose of any of the monies he receives from the aforementioned Civil Cases.***" (Doc. # 216 at 5.) Plaintiff also requested that Dickerson be ordered to provide him a monthly accounting of his profits and expenses.

In response, Defendant Dickerson asserted that Plaintiff should have explored Defendant's "entitlement to fees from cases pending before the suspension" at Defendant's deposition: "this should have been raised at the time. Quiroz never followed up to obtain any specifics regarding any of those cases." (Doc. # 232 at 2.) Defendant also argues in any event that Nev. Rev. State 31.295 limits the "garnishment of disposable earnings to twenty-five percent. NRS 31.295(2)(a); see also NRS 21.090(g) (75% of disposable earnings of the judgment debtor are exempt from execution)." (Doc. # 232 at 2.)

Other than citing Nev. Rev. Stat. 21.230, Plaintiff's memorandum provides little insight as to the court's authority to, as Plaintiff styles it, "turn-over" monies Dickerson might receive from any residual cases in which ...


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