Andrew L. Quiat (“Andy”)

What Is The Life Of A Judgment?


The life of a judgment will vary, depending upon the jurisdiction in which the judgment was entered. In Colorado, per state law, a judgment is good for 20 years. It may be revived for a second period of 20 years, giving a judgment a lifetime of 40 years. There is a hyper-technical area called judgment liens, where a judgment lien against a property is only valid for six years. Before the six years is up, you have to come in and revive it, and then it continues your lien for another six years. In general, the basic lifetime of a judgment in general is around 20 years, subject to variation depending on the jurisdiction.

Will The Court Help To Collect My Judgment Or Is It All On My Attorney?

The court can help you collect a judgment. The primary impetus in collecting your judgment is upon you and your attorney. However, the court will give some types of assistance, some of which is automatic, and some of which is discretionary. When I say automatic, it’s not entirely automatic. Some assistance you are entitled to as a matter of right. If you prepare and file the right paperwork and jump through the hoops, it will automatically be granted. For example, facts may suggest you need a writ of garnishment or a writ of execution. If you apply for these post-judgment and pay the small filing fees, the court will without question just issue these to you. If you want to take a post-judgment deposition of a debtor, or anyone else that may have information about a debtor’s assets, in most jurisdictions you must file a motion with the court to do that. The court generally grants that, without any questions being asked of you or your lawyer.

There is a range of post-judgment remedies available to you and your lawyer. A debtor is always exposed to any of those being deployed against them and their asset structure. A judgment creditor has these remedies available on a cumulative basis. In general, there is no or very little regulation on the order in which you choose to use them or deploy them, but some of them are discretionary with the court. Some types of relief that a court may give a creditor will depend on the facts and the circumstances of your case. For example, if I want orders that are going to be binding upon third persons who are not a defendant, but who are closely affiliated with or associated with the debtor—such as a brother, sister, business confidante, or fellow fraudster—I have to make special showings. In essence, I must persuade the court that this is a circumstance where the court ought to use its discretion in granting extraordinary post-judgment relief.

This is an exciting area, and an area that often tends to exert tremendous pressure upon a debtor. A debtor will come to the table to settle when their pain threshold has been exceeded by the quality and timbre of the post judgment orders being exerted against them.

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about legal matters. The information is not legal advice, and should not be treated as such. Quiat Legal makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information on this website.

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