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Judgment

DEFINITION

Court’s determination of a legal lawsuit or determination of an item presented to it.

EXPLANATION

A judgment is a court-ordered legal action against a violating party in a contract. It determines the rights and obligations of each party of a lawsuit. The court will usually provide an explanation as to how and why it determined its particular judgment.

When a party is damaged, they can try to resolve the issue by initiating a lawsuit to have the defendant answer for their actions. Judgments can be both monetary or non-monetary. When damages are non-monetary, it usually involves requiring the defendant to quit an action or initiate or complete an action. For example, a judgment may require a contractor to complete a project rather than pay monetary actions. Non-monetary damages in many instances might be reason behind the plaintiff bringing the lawsuit forward in the first place. Should a defendant who receives the judgment not pay it off, the judgement will stay on the defendant’s credit for seven years.

A judgment does not always force the defendant to pay off the debt they owe the plaintiff or to perform the task the plaintiff wants them to. If the defendant chooses not to pay the judgment, the creditor might have the option to seize assets, place liens on property attached to the defendant, and others. The most common way a creditor enforces a judgement is by placing a lien on the debtor’s property. A lien will prevent the debtor from refinancing, getting cash out, or selling the property. This is one of the strongest enforcement mechanisms available to the plaintiff.

Declaratory Judgment

Declaratory judgment, or declaratory relief, is a legal determination made by a court that clarifies the rights and obligations of each party in a legal dispute prior to a lawsuit being filed. Although an official declaration, this type of judgment does not order anything to be done or award damages to either party. Rather, it aims to resolve legal uncertainty that could escalate a dispute and lead to an actual legal case.

Injunction and Judgment

An injunction is a temporary or permanent court order that mandates a violating party to perform, or suspend, a specific act. In other words, it is a judgment requiring a party to do or not do something.

In a legal dispute, a violated party may go to the court to obtain an injunction against a violating party. If the court awards an injunction, the violating party must alter their actions. Should the violating party refuse to do so, the court has the ability to impose criminal or civil penalties, such as fines or imprisonment.

The specific injunction that a court issues is dependent on the severity of the violation. Forms of injunctions include a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunctions, and permanent injunctions.

Permanent injunctions are final court verdicts. Failure of the party to comply with a permanent injunction will result in the violating party being held in contempt of the court.

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