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 refining and preserving a judgment lien on genuine property in Florida. The opinion is Sun Radiance Const., Inc. v. Cypress Recovery Corp.,– So. 3d–, 2010 WL 4536803 (Fla. fifth DCA 2010).

According to Fla. Stat. 55.10, a judgment ends up being a lien on genuine property in any county when a certified copy of it is tape-recorded in the official records or judgment lien record of that county and operates as a lien for an initial period of ten years from the date of the recording; and the judgment financial institution may extend the 10 year duration by complying with Fla. Stat. 55.10( 2 ):
“The lien attended to in subsection (1) or an extension of that lien as offered by this subsection may be extended for an additional duration of ten years, based on the restriction in subsection (3 ), by rerecording a licensed copy of the judgment, order, or decree prior to the expiration of the lien or the expiration of the extended lien and by simultaneously tape-recording an affidavit with the existing address of the person who has a lien as a result of the judgment, order, or decree. The extension will work from the date the accredited copy of the judgment, order, or decree is rerecorded.”

The concern presented in the Sun Radiance Building case was whether the judgment lender might rerecord its judgment after the expiration of the preliminary ten years period, and consequently establish a new lien on genuine property. Due to the fact that the statute does not particularly foreclose this possibility, the court permitted the judgment creditor to do so. According to the court, the only impact of the judgment creditor’s failure to rerecord the judgment prior to the expiration of the preliminary ten years period was to trigger the judgment lender to lose the concern over subsequent lienholders created by the earlier recording and to develop top priority only over liens developed after the later recording.
This judgment goes over the capability to maintain a judgment lien on real estate for the life of the judgment, but it does not talk about the life of the judgment itself. That matter is included in a different statute- Fla. Stat. 95.11( 1 ), which sets a twenty years statute of limitations on judgment enforcement actions. However the analysis doesn’t end there. There is caselaw permitting a judgment financial institution to submit an action on a judgment prior to its expiration and in fact renew the judgment, by way of a new judgment, good for another twenty years. See Petersen v. Whitson, 14 So. 3d 300 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009). And probably, based on the Petersen court’s rationale, when the 2nd judgment is set to lapse, the judgment creditor may submit another brand-new fit and get a third judgment (and so on).

Based on these statutes and cases, checked out together, a judgment in Florida can basically be good permanently. A judgment lien can be great forever, limited by its recording only in terms of its top priority. This analysis uses similarly to judgments stemming in Florida, judgments went into in other states taped 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).