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  • The Life of a Judgment (Lien) in Florida

    A current case chosen by the Fifth District Court of Appeals talks about the statutory framework for improving and maintaining a judgment lien on real property in Florida. The viewpoint is Sun Glow Const., Inc. v. Cypress Recovery Corp.,– So. 3d–, 2010 WL 4536803 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010).

    According to Fla. Stat. 55.10, a judgment ends up being a lien on real property in any county when a certified copy of it is taped in the official records or judgment lien record of that county and operates as a lien for a preliminary period of 10 years from the date of the recording; and the judgment creditor might extend the ten years duration by complying with Fla. Stat. 55.10( 2 ):
    “The lien supplied for in subsection (1) or an extension of that lien as offered by this subsection might be extended for an additional period of 10 years, subject to the limitation in subsection (3 ), by rerecording a certified copy of the judgment, order, or decree prior to the expiration of the lien or the expiration of the extended lien and by all at once recording an affidavit with the current address of the individual who has a lien as an outcome of the judgment, order, or decree. The extension will work from the date the certified copy of the judgment, order, or decree is rerecorded.”

    The question presented in the Sun Radiance Building and construction case was whether the judgment lender might rerecord its judgment after the expiration of the initial ten years period, and consequently establish a brand-new lien on genuine property. Because the statute doesn’t particularly foreclose this possibility, the court enabled the judgment financial institution to do so. According to the court, the only result of the judgment lender’s failure to rerecord the judgment prior to the expiration of the initial 10 year duration was to cause the judgment financial institution to lose the priority over subsequent lienholders created by the earlier recording and to establish top priority just over liens developed after the later recording.
    This ruling discusses the ability to preserve a judgment lien on real estate for the life of the judgment, but it does not go over the life of the judgment itself. That matter is consisted of in a separate statute- Fla. Stat. 95.11( 1 ), which sets a 20 year statute of restrictions on judgment enforcement actions. However the analysis does not end there. There is caselaw permitting a judgment creditor to submit an action on a judgment prior to its expiration and actually restore the judgment, by method of a brand-new judgment, excellent for another twenty years. See Petersen v. Whitson, 14 So. 3d 300 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009). And probably, based on the Petersen court’s reasoning, when the second judgment is set to lapse, the judgment lender might file another brand-new fit and acquire a 3rd judgment (and so on).

    Based on these statutes and cases, checked out together, a judgment in Florida can essentially be great forever. Likewise, a judgment lien can be good forever, limited by its tape-recording only in terms of its top priority. This analysis applies equally to judgments originating in Florida, judgments went into in other states tape-recorded in Florida pursuant to the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act, see Haigh v. Planning Bd. of Town of Medfield, 940 So. 2d 1230 (Fla. 5th DCA 2006), and judgments gone into in foreign nations tape-recorded in Florida pursuant to the Uniform Foreign Cash Judgments Recognition Act, see Nadd v. Le Credit Lyonnais, S.A., 804 So. 2d 1226 (Fla. 2001).

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