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Judgments in the Court of Common Pleas

A judgment is the final disposition of a lawsuit. Default judgment is a judgment rendered because of the defendant's failure to answer to appear. Summary judgment is a judgment given on the basis of pleadings, affidavits, and exhibits presented for the record without any need for a trial. It is used when there is no dispute as to the facts of the case and one party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. Consent judgment occurs when the provisions and terms of the judgment are agreed on by the parties and submitted to the court for its sanction and approval.

What is a judgment?
A judgment is simply a determination by the Court of who owes whom and in what amount. It is not an order for payment. The Court cannot guarantee that the winning party will ever collect on the judgment. When a party has had a judgment entered in their favor and the losing party has not paid or appealed, the Court does not take any further action.

How do you collect on your money?
The procedures for collecting a judgment may be complicated. You may attach the party’s wages or levy on goods and chattels. To do so, you must file a Praecipe with the Court requesting a Writ of Attachment for a wage attachment, or Writ of Fi Fa to levy on goods and chattels. If you are seeking a wage attachment, under Federal and Delaware Law, a portion of the debtor’s wages are exempt from the execution process.

If you desire to create a lien on real property owned by the defendant, the plaintiff must transfer the judgment to the Prothonotary of the Superior Court in any county in which the property is located. A judgment so transferred becomes a lien, from the date transferred, on all real estate of the losing party within the county in which the Prothonotary’s office was located.