For how long is a civil judgment valid?

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For how long is a civil judgment valid?

I just received notice from a lawyer stating that back in 1992 an old landlord brought me to court for non-payment of 1 weeks rent ($275). I was not aware of this court case as I moved to CA in 1991 (the landlord knew this also as that was the last apartment we had in MA). With interest of almost 20 years, the balance owed is over $900. This is the first time I heard of this claim against me and really don’t know what to do as I do not have receipts that far back.

Asked on July 20, 2011 Rhode Island

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In most States there is a requirement that a judgment against a person must be renewed after the expiration of 10 years from the judgment. Otherwise it is no longer good. Some States allow a judgment to have a maximum term if renewed timely under the State's laws, for example 30 years or so.

For a judgment to be renewed, the judgment creditor must send notice to the judgment debtor about the renewal attempt and file papers for such with the court.

Ask the lawyer who wrote you to send you a copy of any renewals on the judgment. Most likely there is none. If not, potentially the judgment against you may have expired.

Good luck.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In most States there is a requirement that a judgment against a person must be renewed after the expiration of 10 years from the judgment. Otherwise it is no longer good. Some States allow a judgment to have a maximum term if renewed timely under the State's laws, for example 30 years or so.

For a judgment to be renewed, the judgment creditor must send notice to the judgment debtor about the renewal attempt and file papers for such with the court.

Ask the lawyer who wrote you to send you a copy of any renewals on the judgment. Most likely there is none. If not, potentially the judgment against you may have expired.

Good luck.


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