Friday, August 31, 2007

The Ten Year State of Limitations for Renewal of a Judgment Begins to Run When the Judgment Becomes Final

Because Stipulated Judgments Cannot Be Appealed the Statute Begins to Run When the Judgment is Entered

The Cadle Company II, Inc. v. Sundance Financial, Inc. (Aug. 24, 2007, D049679, Fourth Appellate District, Division One)
5 page opinion

This case addresses the question of when the ten-year statute of limitations on an action to renew a stipulated judgment begins to run. For both stipulated judgments and normal (non-stipulated) judgments, the ten-year period begins to run when the judgment becomes final.

In the case of a normal (non-stipulated) judgment the judgment becomes final after determination of an appeal or, if there is no appeal, at the end of the time during which an appeal could have been filed. Stipulated judgments cannot be appealed. By stipulating to the judgment the parties waive their right to appeal and therefore the judgment is final when entered. One exception exists, occasionally parties stipulate to a judgment in order to facilitate an appeal. Under those circumstances the judgment does not become final when entered.

In this action there were no allegations that the purpose of the stipulated judgment was to facilitate an appeal. Therefore the stipulated judgment became final when it was entered and the ten-year statute began to run at that time. As a consequence this action is barred by the statute.
Justice McIntyre wrote the opinion. Presiding Justice McDonald and Justice O'Rourke concurred.

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