Judgments are court decisions rendered in civil cases. They often include monetary compensation for the winning party. Unfortunately, there are statutes of limitations on judgments. Case winners, otherwise referred to as judgment creditors, only have a certain amount of time to collect. That is certainly the way it is in Ohio.
State laws allow renewing, or reviving, judgments. Ohio judgments can be revived under both normal and some special circumstances. The special circumstances deal with judgment creditors who need extra time to renew.
Reviving Under Normal Circumstances
The normal statute of limitations on judgments in Ohio is 5 years. This means that a judgment creditor has 5 years from the date the judgment is entered to collect. If the creditor fails to do so, a choice must be made: the creditor can revive the judgment or let it expire.
Reviving requires filing paperwork with the same court that entered the original judgment. This is usually just a formality. The paperwork is filed, reviewed by a judge, and that’s about it. A successful petition results in a revival for another 10 years.
Note that a petition to revive must be filed no later than the date of the original judgment’s expiration. It can be filed the day before expiration even if it takes several weeks for the court to take action. If a creditor fails to revive, the judgment is subject to the original expiration date. As of that date, the creditor no longer has the legal right to collect any outstanding debts. Expiration ends the matter once and for all.
Reviving Under Special Circumstances
Under Ohio Revised Code Sec. 2325.18, judgments can be revived beyond the 10-year period if certain conditions apply. If the person entitled to request revival qualifies under any of the following circumstances, revival can take place at a later date:
- The person is a minor.
- The person is deemed of unsound mind.
- The person is imprisoned.
Under the law, any of these three conditions is deemed a disability. A judgment that goes dormant due to any one of these disabilities can be revived within 10 years after the disability is removed.
For example, a minor entitled to receive settlement money from a civil suit might, for whatever reason, not be able to seek revival at age 16. The disability is automatically removed when that person turns 18. They then have 10 years from the 18th birthday to bring a request for revival.
The Laws Are Different in Each State
At this point, it is important for us to note that the laws regulating judgment collection are different in each state. What Judgment Collectors does on behalf of clients in Ohio can differ drastically for what we do for clients in Utah. If you intend to seek a judgment against another party, be sure to know what the law says in your state.
In terms of reviving a dormant judgment, our position is to try to avoid having to do so if at all possible. Given that the statute of limitations in most states is between 7 and 10 years, you are already looking at having waited too long by the time expiration gets close. The longer collection efforts go on, the less likely judgment creditors are to collect.
Here at Judgment Collectors, pursuing unpaid judgments is our specialty. We work on consignment and cover all our own costs along the way. That means you do not pay if we don’t succeed. If you would like to know more about our judgment collection services in Ohio, do not hesitate to contact us.