The cost of justice via small claims court in Seattle
I recently won a default judgment in small claims court for $5,000. The defendant won't pay but my goal all along was to assign a lien to their property in King County - so that I will eventually be paid when they sell.
How much did it cost? Well, $25 to file, $9.79 to try to serve them via certified mail with return receipt, $75 to serve them via process server when they didn't respond and then it becomes a bit silly.
After the judgment, you send King County $20 to issue a transcript of the judgment (despite having one signed by the judge in court) then another $20 to transfer the case to Superior Court. After they send you these documents, you send them back to King County with $44 to file a lien. These steps are totally ambiguously documented on the Web site and required no less than four phone calls to sort out.
Total costs of peace of mind: $193.79.
p.s. I should also add that I asked the defendant to place the lien voluntarily before filing the suit. They did not respond.