Definitions and Terms

Default Judgment

 

A judgment awarded by the court against one of the parties because they didn't show up for the hearing.

 

Costs

 

Fees and charges the Plaintiff/Petitioner pays to file the case or collect on the judgment. 

 

Damages

 

Money awarded by the judge.

 

Execution

 

The court ordering the sheriff's office to take property owned by the judgment debtor to pay the debt that is owed.

Garnishment

 

Taking a percentage of the judgment debtor's wages on a regular basis in order to pay the debt owed.

 

Judgment

 

The amount the judge says is owed by the debtor.

 

Judgment Creditor

 

The person who is owed the money.

 

Judgment Debtor

 

The person who owes the money.

 

Proof of service

 

A document filed with the court stating that a party has been properly presented with copies of the court papers.

 

Satisfaction of judgment

 

Paperwork by the judgment creditor that is filed with the court acknowledging that a debt has been paid.

 

Settlement

 

The parties coming to an agreement between themselves without involving the judge or jury.

 

Service

 

Delivering the court paperwork to the person who is being sued.

 

Statute of limitations

The period of time during which the judgment can be executed.