The Life of a Judgment (Lien) in Florida

A recent case decided by the Fifth District Court of Appeals goes over the statutory framework for perfecting and keeping a judgment lien on genuine property in Florida. The viewpoint is Sun Radiance Const., Inc. v. Cypress Healing Corp.,– So. 3d–, 2010 WL 4536803 (Fla. fifth DCA 2010).

According to Fla. Stat. 55.10, a judgment becomes a lien on real estate in any county when a certified copy of it is recorded in the authorities records or judgment lien record of that county and runs as a lien for a preliminary duration of 10 years from the date of the recording; and the judgment lender might extend the ten years period by abiding by Fla. Stat. 55.10( 2 ):
“The lien attended to in subsection (1) or an extension of that lien as offered by this subsection might be extended for an additional duration of ten years, based on the limitation 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 at the same time recording an affidavit with the existing address of the person 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 concern provided in the Sun Glow Construction case was whether the judgment lender could rerecord its judgment after the expiration of the initial ten years period, and thus develop a new lien on genuine property. Due to the fact that the statute doesn’t particularly foreclose this possibility, the court allowed the judgment creditor to do so. According to the court, the only result of the judgment creditor’s failure to rerecord the judgment prior to the expiration of the initial ten years duration was to trigger the judgment financial institution to lose the concern over subsequent lienholders created by the earlier recording and to develop priority just 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, however it does not talk about 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 limitations on judgment enforcement actions. But the analysis doesn’t end there. There is caselaw allowing a judgment financial institution to submit an action on a judgment prior to its expiration and actually restore the judgment, by way of a brand-new judgment, helpful for another twenty years. See Petersen v. Whitson, 14 So. 3d 300 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009). And presumably, based upon the Petersen court’s reasoning, when the second judgment is set to lapse, the judgment financial institution may file 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 excellent forever. A judgment lien can be great permanently, limited by its recording just in terms of its priority. This analysis uses similarly to judgments coming from Florida, judgments went into in other states 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. fifth DCA 2006), and judgments gone into in foreign countries tape-recorded in Florida pursuant to the Uniform Foreign Loan Judgments Acknowledgment Act, see Nadd v. Le Credit Lyonnais, S.A., 804 So. 2d 1226 (Fla. 2001).