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  1. #1
    Glob is offline Junior Member
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    An old judgment in Ohio

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? OHIO

    I received a letter from a laywer (not the court) that is asking me to fill out an "Examination of Judgment Debtor".

    They have also enclosed a document "Certificate of Judgment for Lien Upon Lands and Tenements". This is from a municipal court. I looked it up on the online docket, and it is filed there.

    I never received anything when this was going on. Here is info from the online docket with some comments:

    02 JUL 1993 PLAINTIFF COMPLAINT FILED
    02 JUL 1993 SUMMONS ISSUED BY CERT MAIL
    {This lists an address at which I used to live. I never saw the letter. I had only lived there a few years.}
    19 JUL 1993 CERT MAIL RET'D UNCLAIMED; FAIL OF SERV-ATTY NOTIFIED
    19 JUL 1993 SUMMONS ISSUED BY REGULAR MAIL
    16 AUG 1993 ANSWER DAY
    25 AUG 1993 JUDGMENT ENTRY FLD VOL 93 PG 3291 DEFAULT (CSM PTS 8/27/93)
    28 DEC 1993 DEBTOR'S EXAM ISSUED CERT MAIL
    {This address is a different address than the previous one, it is a PO Box I used to have, again, I never saw this}
    01 JAN 1994 CERT MAIL RET'D UNCLAIMED; FAIL OF SERV-ATTY NOTIFIED
    13 JAN 1994 DEBTOR'S EXAM ISSUED BY REGULAR MAIL
    09 FEB 1994 SHOW CAUSE ISSUED BAILIFF
    16 FEB 1994 SHOW CAUSE RETURNED MARKED NOT AT THIS ADDRESS; FAIL OF SERV-ATTY NOTIFIED
    27 APR 1994 GARNISH FILED
    {This lists an old employer of mine, but I never knew of a garnishment attempt, and never had anything taken out of my pay}
    03 MAY 1994 ANSWER OF GARN; YES -0-
    08 APR 1999 REQUEST FILED FOR COPY OF DOCKET SHEET
    09 AUG 1999 REQUEST FILED FOR CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT
    12 DEC 2003 REQUEST FILED FOR CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT FOR LIEN
    12 DEC 2003 CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT ISSUED
    27 JAN 2004 CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT FILED
    29 OCT 2008 REQUEST FOR CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT FOR LIEN
    29 OCT 2008 CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT ISSUED
    19 NOV 2008 CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT FILED


    Ok, I know that's a lot of info, but my problems are these: I got a default judgment against me that I didn't know about. My understanding is that in Ohio, a judgment becomes dormant after 5 years, and then in order to revive a judgment, action must be taken 10 years after that. (15 year total)

    The original judgment, from what I can see was issued 25 AUG 1993. This is beyond the 15 years, and would negate a legal collection of this debt, correct? Like I said, the letter I got wasn't from the courts, but a lawyer, and they were asking me to voluntarily fill out this examination.

    Thank you for reading this.
  2. #2
    cosine is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glob View Post
    02 JUL 1993 SUMMONS ISSUED BY CERT MAIL {This lists an address at which I used to live. I never saw the letter. I had only lived there a few years.}
    But did you live there on 02 JUL 1993? If so, something is fishy. Now I know there is such a thing as lost mail, and I've had many cases of that. But I've never heard of that happening in the case of certified mail.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glob View Post
    Ok, I know that's a lot of info, but my problems are these: I got a default judgment against me that I didn't know about. My understanding is that in Ohio, a judgment becomes dormant after 5 years, and then in order to revive a judgment, action must be taken 10 years after that. (15 year total)

    The original judgment, from what I can see was issued 25 AUG 1993. This is beyond the 15 years, and would negate a legal collection of this debt, correct? Like I said, the letter I got wasn't from the courts, but a lawyer, and they were asking me to voluntarily fill out this examination.
    IANAL and have not had a reason to ask my lawyer about this. And he doesn't practice in Ohio, anyway. OTOH, a good friend of mine is a CPA (so he knows some of what goes on in his own state) and once told me that judgments can be "renewed" (his term) perpetually as long as it is done each time within the time frame.

    I'll suggest that you make an appointment with a local lawyer in your area that offers free initial consultation (usually 1/2 hour to an hour of their time scheduled when convenient for them). Bring all the information you have about it (the letter you got, the court info, and anything else) and see what the lawyer suggests. There are ways to get these "dismissed" because I know it has been done. But each case is different.

    If this exam is truly voluntary, you don't have to fill it out. But let a lawyer make that determination. There may be implications for "voluntarily" not acting.

    If you need to have a lawyer take on the matter for you and you cannot afford one, there may be a legal aid service that can help you. If you live near a law school like OSU, they have programs which might be able to help.
  3. #3
    Glob is offline Junior Member
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    The address at which I currently reside is the 5th address since 1993. I honestly don't know the beginning and ending dates of each address.

    I was going to send them back a letter stating that the judgment is out of SOL, because it has been dormant too long, but I wanted to see what constituted a revival of a judgment first.

    Since this is a Holiday week, I will wait until next week to see if I can find a lawyer that will give me a free consel and review what I have.

    Thank you.

    EDIT: Oh, I forgot to mention, I understand that a judgment can be revived basically forever, but did any of the action constitute a revival? From my understanding, in Ohio, there is an actual form, and related fee for reviving a Judgment. I did not see that on the docket, so my question is, is this judgment past its SOL, or did something revive it that I didn't recognize?
    Last edited by Glob; 11-25-2008 at 11:02 AM.
  4. #4
    cosine is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glob View Post
    EDIT: Oh, I forgot to mention, I understand that a judgment can be revived basically forever, but did any of the action constitute a revival? From my understanding, in Ohio, there is an actual form, and related fee for reviving a Judgment. I did not see that on the docket, so my question is, is this judgment past its SOL, or did something revive it that I didn't recognize?
    The first time I looked at the docket you posted, these entries appeared to me to revive the judgment:
    12 DEC 2003 REQUEST FILED FOR CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT FOR LIEN
    12 DEC 2003 CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT ISSUED
    27 JAN 2004 CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT FILED
    29 OCT 2008 REQUEST FOR CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT FOR LIEN
    29 OCT 2008 CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT ISSUED
    19 NOV 2008 CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT FILED

    So it appears someone is doing this about every 5 years. Those docket entries may very well be the result of filing the proper form with the court, and paying the appropriate fee. I'd guess most law firms have template copies for this amongst all the others on all their computers, ready to fill in and either print, or (if not now, eventually) file electronically.

    You should be calling around to find a lawyer you can get a 1/2 hour of free advice on that is specific to your case (everyone on this forum is either not a lawyer or is not your lawyer and so can at best only give general advice worth every penny you paid for it). Then you can find out just how likely it would be to get the judgment set aside.

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