Debt Collection Tips: Docketing the Judgment

Once the creditor has obtained a Judgment from a court, the collection process has now begun. In the context of collecting the money due on the Judgment, it may be necessary to “docket” the Judgment in the County Clerk’s Office.

In each county of the State, there is a court of general jurisdiction called the “Supreme Court.” In some counties, towns, cities, and villages, there are lower courts (such as Civil Court, District Court, etc.). Judgments entered in those courts are not automatic liens upon any realty that the debtor may own in the county. Rather, a “Transcript of Judgment” must be obtained from the court and filed with the County Clerk to create the lien. Once docketed, the Transcript of Judgment will serve as notice to others that there is a lien upon any realty owned by the debtor; other parties are now aware that the lien must be paid according to its priority.

Judgments entered in a Supreme Court case are automatically docketed with the County Clerk.

Unlike New Jersey or some other states, which have state-wide recognition, the Judgment must be docketed by the filing of a Transcript of Judgment in each county in which the debtor has realty in order to create the lien.

The docketing of a Judgment is also essential when attempting to issue an Income Execution to a County Sheriff in another county (where, perhaps, the employer of a debtor is located). Another purpose of docketing a Judgment may be where the Judgment was entered in federal District Court and the creditor wants to use a Sheriff instead of a United States Marshall.

by Richard A. Klass, Esq.

R. A. Klass
Your Court Street Lawyer

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