Certificate of Judgment Law & Legal Definition


A certificate of judgment is a certificate made by the clerk of the court in which the judgment was rendered, under the seal of said court, upon the order of any person in whose favor such judgment was rendered or upon the order of any person claiming under him. It shall be delivered to the party so ordering the same and the fee for it shall be taxed in the costs of the action. This certificate when filed in the court of common pleas of any county of the state creates a lien in the property. This is a statutory lien that is effective from the date of filing on all real estate located in the county. The lien applies specifically to all such property identified as belonging to the debtor at the time of the filing of the certificate and may be enforced as a specific lien.

A certificate of judgment is a lien at the moment filed, and the clerk is liable for damages caused by his failing to index it properly. [Maddox v. Astro Investments, 45 Ohio App. 2d 203, 343 N.E.2d 133 (1975)]

Costs need not be stated in the certificate of judgment since they could be obtained through review of the appropriate court records. [Fifth Third Bank v. Mufleh, 2005 Ohio App. LEXIS 2238, 2005 Ohio 2351, (2005)]

The following is an example of a state statute (Ohio) on Certificate of Judgment:

ORC Ann. 2329.02 . Judgment lien; certificate of judgment; filing; transfer

Any judgment or decree rendered by any court of general jurisdiction, including district courts of the United States, within this state shall be a lien upon lands and tenements of each judgment debtor within any county of this state from the time there is filed in the office of the clerk of the court of common pleas of such county a certificate of such judgment, setting forth the court in which the same was rendered, the title and number of the action, the names of the judgment creditors and judgment debtors, the amount of the judgment and costs, the rate of interest, if the judgment provides for interest, and the date from which such interest accrues, the date of rendition of the judgment, and the volume and page of the journal entry thereof.

No such judgment or decree shall be a lien upon any lands, whether or not situated within the county in which such judgment is rendered registered under sections 5309.02 to 5309.98, inclusive, and 5310.01 to 5310.21, inclusive, of the Revised Code, until a certificate under the hand and official seal of the clerk of the court in which the same is entered or of record, stating the date and purport of the judgment, giving the number of the case, the full names of the parties, plaintiff and defendant, and the volume and page of the journal or record in which it is entered, or a certified copy of such judgment, stating such facts, is filed and noted in the office of the county recorder of the county in which the land is situated, and a memorial of the same is entered upon the register of the last certificate of title to the land to be affected.

Such certificate shall be made by the clerk of the court in which the judgment was rendered, under the seal of said court, upon the order of any person in whose favor such judgment was rendered or upon the order of any person claiming under him, and shall be delivered to the party so ordering the same; and the fee therefor shall be taxed in the costs of the action.

When any such certificate is delivered to the clerk of the court of common pleas of any county in this state, the same shall be filed by such clerk, and he shall docket and index it under the names of the judgment creditors and the judgment debtors in a judgment docket, which shall show as to each judgment all of the matters set forth in such certificate as required by this section. The fee for such filing, docketing, and indexing shall be taxed as increased costs of such judgment upon such judgment docket and shall be included in the lien of the judgment.

When the clerk of any court, other than that rendering the judgment, in whose office any such certificate is filed, has docketed and indexed the same, he shall indorse upon such certificate the fact of such filing with the date thereof and the volume and page of the docket entry of such certificate and shall return the same so indorsed to the clerk of the court in which the judgment was rendered, who shall note upon the original docket the fact of the filing of said certificate, showing the county in which the same was filed and the date of such filing. When such certificate is filed, docketed, and indexed in the office of the clerk of the court which rendered the judgment, such clerk shall likewise indorse the certificate and make like notation upon the original docket.

Each such judgment shall be deemed to have been rendered in the county in which is kept the journal of the court rendering the same, in which journal such judgment is entered.

Certificates or certified copies of judgments or decrees of any courts of general jurisdiction, including district courts of the United States, within this state, may be filed, registered, noted, and memorials thereof entered, in the office of the recorder of any county in which is situated land registered under sections 5309.02 to 5309.98, inclusive, and 5310.01 to 5310.21, inclusive, of the Revised Code, for the purpose of making such judgments liens upon such registered land.

Notwithstanding any other provision of the Revised Code, any judgment issued in a court of record may be transferred to any other court of record. Any proceedings for collection may be had on such judgment the same as if it had been issued by the transferee court.