Civil Court Judgments
When a person or company wins a lawsuit against someone else in a civil court and wants to “attach,” or put a lien on, the losing party’s property, they file an abstract of judgment with the county recorder's office.
This lien entitles the person who won the suit to collect the money that was awarded by a judge or jury in the lawsuit if the property in question is ever sold.
An abstract of judgment lists:
- the person or company that won the lawsuit and their attorney
- the person or company that lost the lawsuit
- the monetary amount of the judgment
- the date the judgment was awarded by the court
- the court in which the lawsuit was filed
- the case number of the lawsuit (so you can look up the lawsuit at the court where it was filed)
The lawsuits may have been filed in any court anywhere in the country, but the judgments are filed in the county in which the person or company that was sued owns property.
Thus the filings of judgments at a county recorder's office are extremely valuable in providing leads on lawsuits that may have been filed against a person in other counties or states.