How to enforce a money judgment

When a judgment is entered in the Civil Court it is enforceable for a period of twenty years for money only, it is not a lien against real property. Nor is a judgment entered in one county a lien on real property in any other county. If a judgment-creditor wishes to enforce a judgment against real property, he or she must follow the procedure below for “transcribing” the judgment.

A transcript is a paper containing the essential information of the judgment, certified by the clerk in the county where the judgment is entered.

The judgment-creditor must apply to the clerk of the court in which the judgment was entered for a transcript and then file the transcript with the county clerk of the county in which the court is located (the home county). To find out the fee for filing a transcript of judgment, click on court fees. The judgment then becomes a realty lien in that county.

In order to make the judgment a lien in other counties, a judgment-creditor must ask the county clerk in the home county to issue a transcript of judgment and then file the transcript with the county clerk of any other county within the state where the judgment-debtor owns the property. A judgment-creditor may have as many transcripts issued by the home county clerk as he or she requests for filing in multiple counties. There is a separate fee for each transcript issued. To find out the fee for issuing a transcript of judgment, click on court fees.

Example:
A judgment is entered in the Civil Court Queens County. The judgment-creditor believes the defendant may have real property in Orange County and other counties in New York State. The judgment creditor must obtain a transcript from the Queens Civil Court and file it in the Queens County Clerk’s Office. For a fee, the judgment creditor may obtain as many transcripts from the Queens County Clerk as necessary for filing in as many counties as he or she requests.

Similar steps can be taken to enforce a federal, sister state, or foreign country judgment against real property. Ask the judgment clerk in your county for more information. Click on Locations to find where to go.

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