Enforcement of Judgments
After obtaining a judgment, the judgment creditor’s next step is to attempt to collect what is owed. The court does not collect judgments; the prevailing party is responsible for all collection efforts. However, the court may issue a variety of orders and other documents that may be used to collect your judgment from the debtor.
There are several steps that may need to be taken prior to starting your collection efforts.
Begin Your Collection Efforts
There are numerous ways a judgment creditor may collect from a judgment debtor. The method(s) used depend on the judgment debtor’s assets. Below is information about several common enforcement methods.
Renew the Judgment if Necessary
Money judgments automatically expire after 10 years, unless the judgment creditor renews the judgment before it expires. A judgment may be renewed for another 10 years, and renewed repeatedly until it is paid in full. Expired judgments cannot be enforced, so judgment creditors must be careful to renew judgments in a timely manner.
For More Information
Renew Your Judgment, from the California Courts Self-Help Website
Renew Your Judgment, Step-by-Step guide from the Sacramento County Public Law Library
Once the Judgment is Paid in Full
Once a judgment is paid, either in full or in an amount the judgment creditor agrees to accept as full payment, the judgment creditor must file an Acknowledgement of Satisfaction of Judgment (EJ-100) with the court. It must also be filed with the County Recorder’s Office if any liens were placed on real property, and with the Secretary of State’s Office if liens were placed on personal property. If you do not file an Acknowledgment of Satisfaction of Judgment, the judgment debtor may sue you for any damages caused by your failure to file the Acknowledgment, plus $100.
For More Information
After the Judgment is Paid, from the California Courts Self-Help Website
After Your Judgment is Paid, Step-by-Step guide from the Sacramento County Public Law Library
This material is intended as general information only. Your case may have factors requiring different procedures or forms. The information and instructions are provided for use in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Please keep in mind that each court may have different requirements. If you need further assistance consult a lawyer.