Abstract of Judgment Law & Legal Definition


Abstract of judgment is a copy or summary of a courts judgment. It is a document disclosing a monetary award issued by the court in favor of a person who won the lawsuit against a losing defendant. It includes the rate of interest to be paid on the judgment amount, court costs, and any specific orders for the losing defendant. An abstract of judgment is a public record and creates a lien on any real estate property owned by the defendant in the county in which the abstract of judgment is recorded. Issuance procedure and contents of abstract of judgment varies according to statutes.

The following is an example of a State Statute (Texas) on Abstract of Judgment:

According to Texas Property Code § 52.002, an abstract of judgment is issued on application of a person in whose favor a judgment is rendered or on application of that person's agent, attorney, or assignee. It is issued by the judge or justice of the peace who rendered the judgment or the clerk of the court in which the judgment is rendered.

The relevant law as it appears in the statute:

Tex. Prop. Code § 52.002. Issuance of Abstract

(a) On application of a person in whose favor a judgment is rendered or on application of that person's agent, attorney, or assignee, the judge or justice of the peace who rendered the judgment or the clerk of the court in which the judgment is rendered shall prepare, certify, and deliver to the applicant an abstract of the judgment. The applicant for the abstract must pay the fee authorized by law for providing the abstract.

(b) The attorney of a person in whose favor a judgment is rendered in a small claims court or a justice court or a person in whose favor a judgment is rendered in a court other than a small claims court or a justice court or that person's agent, attorney, or assignee may prepare the abstract of judgment. An abstract of judgment prepared under this subsection must be verified by the person preparing the abstract.