Unenforceable Judgments

August 13, 2023


Q. A judgment enforcer told me that they could not enforce my judgment because it was not enforceable as is – even though my debtor is rich. How can I clean up my judgment so it can be recovered?

A: We are not lawyers. There are some judgments that cannot be enforced (as they are now). One example is if the debtor gave you a fake name – and you sued an imaginary name. Another is when you must return property before the debtor owes you money. Another is when you did not sue the correct entity. Another is a default judgment, where you then later discover additional assets or parties to sue. Or if the judgment debtor is too old, because laws protect old debtors from creditors. Lastly some rich debtors are clever and use legal tricks to keep their assets shielded from creditors.

Some judgments cannot be enforced as they are. You (or your lawyer) have to do something to make the judgment enforceable.

Perhaps you (or your lawyer) need to clean up the judgment to make it a simple money judgment. Perhaps you would return the property to the debtor – and then request the court to amend the judgment. Or perhaps you need to amend the judgment for some other reason. Or maybe your judgment is not final – if it is in Appeals or Bankruptcy Court.

We are not lawyers – and if you are reading this, you might well benefit by contacting a lawyer. A great place to find a lawyer to talk with for half an hour, about your judgment situation (for a reasonable fee) – is the State Bar for your state. (See our Finding The Right Lawyer article, and our Will You Take My Judgment FAQ question, and our National Lawyer State Bar List.)

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