Once both parties have presented their case, the magistrate will prepare and file a written decision. Every decision is reviewed by a judge before it is entered as an official judgment.
Decisions and judgments are complicated so you or your lawyer should expect to be mailed a copy of both documents. An important part of the decision and judgment is called the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. This part of the document describes the reasoning behind the decisions the magistrate or judge made in your case based on the facts that both sides presented.
If you do not receive Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law as part of the decision or judgment, you must make a written request for them within 7 days of receiving the decision or judgment by filing the form with the Clerk of Court.
What happens if I win?
If the landlord wins at the first hearing for restitution of the premises, the landlord must make arrangements with the bailiff to remove the tenants from the premises. If the landlord wins at the second hearing for money damages, the landlord becomes a judgment creditor. The losing party becomes a judgment debtor, and may voluntarily pay the judgment.
If the judgment debtor does not voluntarily pay you after you have your judgment, you may choose to try different collection methods. Collection proceedings may take a great deal of time. You should consider all the steps you may take to collect the debt. It is best to speak with a lawyer about your options. Learn more about Collecting on Judgment.