If you have ever been served with a collection notice, you may find at some point you’ll receive notifications that if you don’t pay the debt due, a court judgment will be filed against you. If this is the first time you’re dealing with this type of situation, you may wonder what a court judgment is, what to do about it and how to perform a court judgment search and what to expect. A court judgment search will help you become aware of the exact details surrounding your judgment.
A court judgement is generally filed in a civil case between two or more parties. The plaintiff is the party that initiates the lawsuit, and the defendant is the party that the lawsuit is brought against. When the case is filed, it’s assigned to a judge who manages and oversees the progress of the case, hears motions and holds hearings. Sometimes the judge may attempt to informally settle the matter. In the end, if the case goes to trial and the result is money awarded to the winning party, a judgment is filed outlining the court’s decision.
Each state has its own set of civil procedure rules which define a court judgment search and outlines how the civil judgment is entered. The federal court also has rules and regulations regarding judgments. Before any ruling is made, the defendant has the ability to defend himself in court. The plaintiff in the case must provide clear facts and proof as to why the court should rule in the plaintiff’s favor.
When a judgment is decided by the courts, the party is ordered by the judge to pay the amount requested. If the money is not paid upfront, the judgment is filed in the official holder of court records, which then becomes a matter of public record. The judge may also have the wages garnished or place a lien against the bank account of the party the judgment is rendered against. If the party who has a judgment filed against him wants to sell his property at some point before the lien is paid, the judgment must be paid from the proceeds of the sale of the property.
Anyone who believes they have a judgment filed against them can contact their local public records office for a copy of the judgment, or inquire through the court that oversaw the judgment. Each state and court has their own rules and procedure on how to obtain a copy, so it’s best to contact the court for instructions on obtaining a copy.