A civil judgment is a court of law finding against a defendant. It refers to a non-criminal court matter that frequently compels the defendant to pay monetary damages. Damages in civil cases are typically monetary values.

In civil proceedings, there are four types of civil judgments:

  1. When the parties concede the facts but disagree on the law, as in a decision upon demurrer;
  2. When the law is admitted but the facts are contested, as in a judgment upon a verdict;
  3. When both the law and the facts are admitted by confession, as in the case of cognovit actionem on the defendant’s part or nolle prosequi on the plaintiff’s part;
  4. By default of either party in the course of legal proceedings, such as in the case of judgment by nihil dicit or non sum informatus, when the defendant fails to plead or instruct his attorney to plead after a proper notice, or in cases of judgment by non pros; or
  5. In cases of nonsuit, when the plaintiff fails to follow up on their proceedings.

Again, these four types of judgments are either interlocutory or final.

How Does a Lawsuit Start?

A complaint is filed with the jurisdiction where the issue occurred when a plaintiff wishes to sue a defendant. If the complaint is not settled out of court, it will be heard in court. The outcome of the trial may require the defendant to pay a fine.

A civil claim judgment is a ruling against a defendant in court in a non-criminal case. The defendant must often compensate the plaintiff in these cases.

Following is a list of numerous types of judgments.

Judgment in Assumption is either in favor of the plaintiff or the defendant; when in favor of the plaintiff, it is that they recover a specified sum, assessed by a jury or on reference to the prothonotary or other proper officer, for the damages sustained as a result of the defendant’s failure to perform their promises and undertakings, as well as full costs of suit.

Judgment in actions on the case for torts is that a person collects a sum of money determined by a jury for damages caused by the commission of the complaints complained of, as well as the costs of litigation. When it comes to the defendant, it is for expenses.

A cassetur breve judgment is issued in circumstances of pleas in abatement when the plaintiff requests that his ‘writ’ or ‘bill’ be canceled so that he may sue or present a better one.

When, instead of submitting a plea, the defendant decides to confess the action; or, after pleading, at any time before trial, both confess the action and withdraw their plea or other claims; the judgment against them is known as a confession relicta verificatione.

Judgment in error is a decision made by a court of error based on a record sent up from a lower court.

What Does the Entry of Civil Judgment Mean?

The entry of judgment would be the definitive recording of the court’s decision and opinion if one were issued. The jurisdiction determines when the entry is complete, but it usually occurs after the decision is inserted into the docket or sent to a specific official. In many circumstances, the judgment must be entered before it can be appealed.

Normally, when the decision is entered, the court clerk must provide the parties with a copy of the judgment and opinion.

What Is a Civil Judgment Release?

A civil judgment release is a document signed by the creditor that states that you have fulfilled your legal obligation to repay the debt. This is also known as judgment satisfaction.

A judgment release is a document that proves you paid the original judgment. The creditor cannot pursue civil action against you for the debt once a judgment release has been filed with the court.

What Is a Default Judgment in a Civil Case?

A default judgment (also known as a judgment by default) is a decision made by a judge or court in favor of a plaintiff when the defendant in a legal action fails to reply to a court summons or fails to appear in court.

The default verdict may be overturned if the defendant can provide valid reasons for not appearing in court or ignoring a summons.

According to Federal Rule 37(b)(2)(v), a person who fails to appear in court as required may be found in default.

Unless proof of damages is required, the default decision will consider damages if they were included in the complaint.

Various jurisdictions may have different default judgment criteria and rulings.

Does a Civil Judgment Appear on a Person’s Credit Report?

Yes, judgments are recorded on a person’s credit report.

Judgments are typically not reported directly to credit bureaus but are publicly documented on county court records. Credit bureaus typically analyze county court records.

A judgment is seen negatively by each credit bureau. As a result, it decreases a person’s overall credit score.

Can I Remove a Judgment from My Credit Report?

No, most judgments remain on a person’s credit report for up to seven years after they are filed with the court.

If the judgment is paid, the time frame may be reduced.

After the seven-year period expires, the creditor may refile the judgment.

A “dormant civil judgment” or “civil judgment expiration” occurs when a civil judgment expires. This means that a plaintiff or creditors will be unable to collect on a judgment using any of the following methods:

  • Wage garnishment from the defendant’s payroll or bank accounts;
  • Issuing a lien and seizing the defendant’s property (for example, their home);
  • Inviting the defendant to attend a debtor’s examination hearing;
  • Petitioning the court to hold the defendant in contempt for failing to pay the judgment; and/or
  • Taking the outstanding debt from a defendant’s business or business bank account or filing a judgment with a state licensing board in some situations.

Just because a judgment expires does not mean that it is fully gone.

The plaintiff has numerous choices, including reactivating the dormant civil judgment or contacting the defendant directly to obtain payment on their own.

A creditor may also ask the defendant to pay off a debt or seek that a court restores the judgment under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).

What Does a Wage Garnishment Have to Do with a Civil Judgment?

A creditor who obtains a civil judgment against an individual can garnish the person’s wages.

Wage garnishment is the deduction of a percentage of a person’s paycheck every week or two weeks to pay off the judgment.

Federal law allows up to 25% of a person’s pay until the debt is paid off.

Can a Lawyer Help Me Regarding a Civil Judgment?

A civil lawyer can assist you in settling a civil judgment.

A lawyer can give you the best advice on how to proceed or whether bankruptcy is your best option for settling the judgment.

If you are entitled to a civil judgment but need help recovering it, a lawyer can also help you.

Don’t wait any longer. Start settling your legal claims by using LegalMatch to find the right lawyer for your needs today.