Question regarding civil judgment in FL
In 2012 I was the plaintiff in a case and won the case , the court granted a judgment ( however, to this point no funds were collected ) . I never recorded a certified copy with the clerk of courts. I now see that the plaintiff recently bought a rental property . Can I still record a certified copy of the judgment with the clerk of courts and have an attorney file a writ of execution ? I'm reading the FL statues , but I'm confused with the timing. Does the first 10 years begin when the judgment is signed by the judge or when a certified copy is recorded ? Any help would be greatly appreciated
2 Answers from Attorneys
You can record the certified copy of the judgment now and have the sheriff execute upon it.
Here's how this works: When the clerk dockets the signed judgment, the 20 year clock begins to tick. For the next 20 years, the creditor can execute on the judgment, and the judgment never has to be re-recorded.
When you record the certified copy of the judgment, you've created a judgment lien on the debtor's ownership interest in real property in the county in which you've recorded the judgment. The judgement lien is valid for 10 years, and then it must be re-recorded to continue to act as a judgment lien AND to maintain it's seniority in the "pecking order" of liens created after yours. Under no circumstances does the judgment lien survive after 20 years (when the judgment expires, so does the lien).
In your case, if you record the judgment now, the lien will be good for 9 years. You've lost approximately 11 years, although under the circumstances you've described, it's academic. Go forth and execute upon your judgment lien.
You should also record the judgment in the county where he owns property ..