What is a Civil Judgment?

Jeff Varcadipane

March 23, 2022

What is a Civil Judgment?

If someone has wronged you and the law provides a remedy, you can sue that person or entity in civil court to seek money and other relief. At Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC, we routinely help clients to successfully file cases like this and can help you, too, if you believe someone has caused you harm and you have a basis to sue them.

Obtaining a Civil Judgment

A civil judgment is an order obtained in civil court against an individual or entity after a successful lawsuit. The judgment usually requires the person or entity against whom it is issued to pay money to the person or entity that sued them.

Steps in Obtaining a Civil Judgment

Before obtaining a civil judgment, there are several steps that must be taken, which include the following:

  1. Initiating a Civil Lawsuit. In New Jersey, if you are suing someone for less than $3,000 )or suing for the return of a security deposit), you can only file that lawsuit in a small claims court. If the amount is above this threshold, then you can bring an action in a regular civil court. Before you do so, it is important you discuss your case with an experienced civil litigation lawyer who can evaluate the facts and circumstances in your case to determine if filing a lawsuit is appropriate and, if so, to help you in filing and successfully pursuing the lawsuit.
  2. Negotiation. If you have been wronged or harmed, the first thing a lawyer will do for you after they are retained is to investigate the facts and circumstances in your case. Once the information and documents are received and reviewed, the lawyer will file the lawsuit. Based on all the evidence they obtain, the lawyer will try to negotiate to settle the case with the person or entity you are suing or their lawyer. 
  3. Trial. If the negotiations fail, then they will advise you to take the case to court. When that happens, the lawyer will prepare you and have all the evidence ready for presentment at trial. The evidence could be witnesses or a combination of witnesses and documents to support your legal claims. The evidence will be presented to a judge or jury who will render a verdict at the end of the trial.
  4. Verdict. A judge or jury will render a verdict as to whether the person or entity you have sued should be held legally liable and, if so, for what amount. A judge will then record this as the civil judgment in your case.

Enforcing a Civil Judgment

Having a civil judgment is viewed negatively for credit purposes, and those who have obtained a civil judgment can enforce it by garnishing wages of the person who owes the civil judgment or by placing liens on their property. A court needs to grant and order these enforcement methods.

Speak with a New Jersey Civil Litigation Attorney

If you wish to obtain or enforce a civil judgment against another party, the office of Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC, can help. Please contact our office for a free consultation as soon as possible.

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