A judgment is an official entry on a court’s docket that signifies a plaintiff has prevailed in his civil lawsuit for damages against a defendant. In most jurisdictions, a judgment remains valid for 21 years from the date it was issued by the court.
A plaintiff who obtains a judgment becomes a judgment creditor and can utilize all of the post-judgment collection procedures authorized by law against a judgment debtor to obtain satisfaction for his judgment.
Upon application to the court, a plaintiff may obtain a default judgment when a defendant fails to properly respond to the complaint within the time specified by the court rules.
Removing A Default Judgment
A defendant may seek to vacate or dismiss a default judgment if he can demonstrate to the court that he was not properly served with notice about the plaintiff’s complaint.
Post-Judgment Collection Remedies
Subject to approval by the court, a judgment creditor can seek to attach the assets of a judgment debtor, place a lien on his property or garnish his wages.
Since a judgment is a matter of public record, it may appear as a negative trade reference on a debtor’s credit report.
Satisfying A Judgment
A judgment is extinguished upon payment of the remaining amount of the balance due on the judgment.