When it Comes to Enforcing Judgments, Revival is a Key
By: Michelle Golden, Attorney / Mages & Price LLC
When there is litigation between parties, often-times it is an easier task to go to trial and have a Judgment entered in one’s favor and against the opposing party. The harder part is collecting the monies that are awarded in the judgment and finding the sources of funds to make that happen. The key to a valid judgment is making sure that it remains viable and that you timely revive the judgment before it expires, otherwise you run the risk of losing enforceability of your judgment lien.
A judgment may be revived by filing a petition to revive the judgment in the seventh year after its entry, OR in the seventh year after its last revival, OR in the twentieth year after its entry, OR at any other time within 20 years after its entry if the judgment becomes dormant and by serving the petition and entering a court order for revival. 735 ILCS 5/2-1602 (a); 735 ILCS 5/2-108 (a); See Burman v. Snyder, 381 Ill. Dec.198, 10 N.E.3d 283 (Ill. App. 1st Dist. 2014). So, what does that really mean?
In order to proceed on collecting on a judgment, one must ensure that within the time periods set forth, the judgment is revived before it becomes dormant. One should not proceed on a dormant judgment, unless the revival is cured as the risk for having your post judgment collection proceedings dismissed runs high. Once the judgment is revived, then enforcement of that judgment can continue for upwards of 20 years from its date of entry, or its last revival.
Depending on the type of post judgment collection proceedings, there may be exceptions to this rule. For example, if a wage garnishment order is entered prior to the dormancy of the judgment, it shall continue in full force until completion without revival. 735 ILCS 5/2-l602(h); See also Golden v. Puccinelli, 408 Ill. Dec. 37, 64 N.E.3d 1122 (Ill. App. 1st Dist. 2016). In other types of judgments, for example child support and personal injury, they remain fully enforceable without revival. However, it is always a good practice to check to see what type of judgment you have, and follow the rules accordingly to ensure enforceability of your judgment.
Lastly, there are only limited defenses in trying to challenge a revival of a judgment including: 1) Judgment has been satisfied/ paid; 2) Judgment has been discharged in Bankruptcy; or 3) Judgment was never entered in original proceeding or may be void for lack of personal jurisdiction. Waterbury Nat. Bank v. Reed, 231 Ill. 246, 83 N.E. 188, 189 (1907); Bank of Edwardsville v. Raffaelle, 381 Ill. 486 (1942). If none of these circumstances applies, then the likelihood of the Court entering a revival order is quite good and the judgment will remain valid for enforcement and collection proceedings.