I am not a lawyer. This article is not legal advice. The example form in this article is not meant to copy and use as is, but it should explain what you need to know, to prepare and file an assignment of judgment. Laws vary in each state, in California CCP 708.510 specifies how judgments can be assigned.
Because assignments of judgments become court forms, filed at the court, they must follow the rules of the local court. Most courts require assignments of judgments to be done on “pleading paper”. Pleading paper means your paper should have the right captions (words at the top part of the document), spacing, font sizes, and most importantly line numbers down the left side of each page. Most of the time courts want 28 lines per page. One can use a Microsoft Word template, or formatting in your word processor to make legal-numbered documents.
The first step of enforcing any judgment where you are not the original judgment creditor (the person who was the Plaintiff/Creditor in the lawsuit), is to have a correctly prepared, signed, and notarized court-filed document.
This name of this document varies from State to State, and is usually named either an “ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF ASSIGNMENT OF JUDGMENT AND NOTICE OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF ASSIGNMENT OF JUDGMENT” or an “ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF ASSIGNMENT OF JUDGMENT”
There are no court-provided forms to do this, so you have to create your own, perhaps use the example in this article, or find an example in a judgment book or course.
In California, very interesting is the case of: UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT IN RE BOYAJIAN, 564 F.3D 1088 (9TH CIR. 2009), PARALLEL CITATIONS564 F.3d 1088, 1090109110921093, the case stated:
Under California law, a judgment creditor may assign a judgment to a third person. Cal. Civ.Code 954. “In doing so, the judgment creditor assigns the debt upon which the judgment is based … Through such an assignment, the assignee ordinarily acquires all the rights and remedies possessed by the assignor for the enforcement of the debt, subject, however, to the defenses that the judgment debtor had against the assignor.” Great W. Bank v. Kong, 90 Cal. App.4th 28, 108 Cal.Rptr.2d 266, 268 (2001) (internal citations omitted). An assignment carries the legal title to he judgment; “the transfer of the title does not depend upon the fact of there being a valuable consideration.” Curtin v. Kowalsky, 145 Cal. 431, 78 P. 962, 963 (1904)”
An example of an “ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF ASSIGNMENT OF JUDGMENT” is at the end of this article. You always start with an original customized form, signed by the person who currently owns the judgment, most often the original judgment creditor. Blue ink is usually preferred as it helps to establish which copy is the original.
The person assigning the judgment (the seller) to you (the buyer) must sign the form in the presence of a notary. (See our Notary article.)
The form must be signed and stamped by the notary. Once this is done, the form becomes the original that the court needs. Make one copy of it if you are bringing it to the court, and two copies if you are mailing to the court (in case the original gets lost in the mail).
You bring or mail (with a cover letter and a stamped self-addressed envelope) the original and a copy to the court where the judgment originated. If the form meets the requirements of the court, they will stamp (endorse) and file the original, and stamp it, and give or mail you the copy to keep.
Keep your copy, in case anyone challenges your ownership of, or rights to enforce the judgment. When challenged, you can simply fax or mail a copy of it, to end any challenge. Also, for some reason, some judgment enforcers mention how much was paid to creditor, with for example wordings such as: “$10 for the sale of this judgment”, on assignments, which is something that normally goes only on a purchase contract, which is not filed at the court.
Here is an example of an Assignment Of Judgment form I have used in about 20 States. Again, it may not be right for your court. The only way to find out is to bring your first one to court, and see if they will accept and stamp it. This form often takes two pages to print.
— Page One: —-
124 Fake Street
San Jose, CA, 95112
Plaintiff in Pro Per
IN THE SUPERIOR CIVIL COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA
PAUL PLAINTIFF CASE # 11-04-CV-999999
(Plaintiff) ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF
ASSIGNMENT OF JUDGMENT
My name is Paul Plaintiff, Plaintiff in this case, and hereby declare the following in support of an ASSIGNMENT OF JUDGMENT:
1) THAT this original Judgment was awarded by this court on 03/29/2015.
2) THAT Plaintiff was awarded $15,000.00, and Court approved Costs of $0.0 (Which totals as $15,000.00) on 3/29/2015, against Defendant: Dan Debtor.
3) THAT there have been no renewals since the entry of said Judgment by this Court and that Plaintiff already received $0.00 payment on this Judgment from the Defendant.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF ASSIGNMENT OF JUDGMENT – Page 1 of 2
— Page Two: —-
4) THAT Paul Plaintiff of 124 Fake Street, San Jose, CA 95112 is the Judgment Creditor.
5) THAT the last address of record for the Judgment Debtor(s) are Dan Debtor, 444 Cheaters Lane, San Jose, CA 95122.
6) THAT I hereby transfer, and assign all title, rights ownership, and interest in this Judgment to the following person: So and So entity, date.
Signed this__________day of______________________, 20_____ in
the City of: __________________________, State;
Signature of Paul
Plaintiff (Judgment Creditor)
State, County of County, on _____________________ before me,
(Print Notary Officer Name, and Title)
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF ASSIGNMENT OF JUDGMENT -So And So – Page 2 of 2
(End of the example form.)
This form example was successfully used mostly in California, and in about 20 States. It’s good to start with, but always make sure your local court will accept your form. Note that most states will require State-specific notary language, or the notary will attach their own notary forms.