Once a Judgment has been entered in a court, there are various methods which may be utilized by the judgment creditor to collect the Judgment from the debtor.
Where the debtor owns real estate, a lien may be placed upon the property. This type of lien is referred to as a Judgment lien under Article 52 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR).
The Judgment lien is placed upon real estate by the “docketing” of a Transcript of Judgment with the County Clerk’s Office. Once the Judgment is docketed or registered, the judgment creditor may issue an Execution to the Sheriff to levy and sell the real estate, or merely leave the lien against the property until the debtor sells or transfers the property (at which time, the Judgment will likely be paid from the proceeds at closing).
If the Judgment was obtained in the Supreme Court of the county in which the property is located, no further action is required to docket the lien.
If the Judgment was obtained in another court (such as the New York City Civil Court, federal court, Family Court, or District Court), that court will issue, for a fee, a Transcript of Judgment with a raised seal, which Transcript of Judgment will then be filed with the County Clerk’s Office, at which point the lien will be effective.
If the debtor owns real estate in a county different from the one in which the Judgment was entered, a Transcript of Judgment should issue from the County Clerk’s Office in which the Judgment was entered and be filed with the County Clerk’s Office in which the property is located to effectuate the lien.