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Entering Civil Judgments


Attorneys

In General
Default Judgments
Judgment after Trial, Arbitration, Inquest or Order
Judgment By Confession
Judgment On Stipulation
Attorneys Fees
Interest
Costs
Additional Cost Provisions
Disbursements
Judgment Checklist

In General

Attorneys who represent the successful party must prepare a judgment and submit it to the judgment clerk for review.

You can submit your own form or a standard legal stationery store judgment form (such as Blumberg B319 for a default judgment or B323 for a judgment after trial or inquest) or you may download a civil court form, the Application for Judgment. If you want a conformed copy of the judgment after it is entered you should submit an additional copy of the judgment along with a self addressed stamped envelope.

There are several different circumstances under which a judgment may be entered.

• By default, for failure to answer or appear
• After trial, arbitration, inquest or order
• By confession
• Based on stipulation

Continue reading below to learn more about entering judgments.

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Default Judgments

NYCCA Section 1402 authorizes the entry of a default judgment where the requirements of CPLR 3215 are complied with. A default judgment may result when:

• A defendant fails to timely answer a summons and complaint

• A plaintiff or defendant fails to appear for a scheduled court appearance (i.e., trial, pre-trial, pre-arbitration)

• A Third party defendant or a defendant served with a cross-claim defaults in answering or appearing at a trial. (A third-party judgment or cross-claim judgment cannot be entered until a judgment is entered on the original claim between the plaintiff and defendant.)

A default judgment may not be entered against a plaintiff based only on a failure of the plaintiff to reply to a counterclaim (unless court ordered) since the counterclaim is deemed denied by the plaintiff.

Liquidated - Sum Certain

Based on CPLR 3215(a), the judgment clerk may only enter a judgment on amounts for a “sum certain” or for a sum which can be made certain by computation.

If the sum demanded in the cause of action is for a sum certain (i.e., breach of contract, goods sold and delivered, promissory note) or based upon a default on a stipulation pursuant to CPLR Section 3215(i) and 5003-a, you may submit an application for a default judgment directly to the clerk.

Under some circumstances, an account stated can be entered as an agreed upon amount. For more information, you can read the court’s directives on Entry of Judgment: Account Stated and Default Judgments on Hospital and Attorney Bills.

Unliquidated - Not a Sum Certain

If the sum demanded is an unliquidated sum (i.e, personal injury, property damage) and does not meet the requirements of CPLR 3215, you must file a Notice of Inquest with the clerk and pay the fee, which is the same fee as a Notice of Trial. To find out the amount of the fee, refer to Court Fees. After the Notice of Inquest is filed, the clerk will place the case on the calendar for an inquest before the Court for assessment of the dollar amount of damages. See Uniform Rules of the Civil Court 208.32. After the assessment, you may file a judgment with the clerk.

More information on: Interest, Costs or Disbursements.

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Judgment after Trial, Arbitration (NY County only), Inquest or Order (motion for summary judgment, etc.)

The proposed judgment must conform to the decision after trial, arbitration or inquest.

If the judgment is being entered after arbitration remember that in a contested arbitration hearing, judgment cannot be entered until 30 days after service of the notice of award or 35 days if service is by mail.

For more information, you may go to Interest, Costs or Disbursements.

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Judgment By Confession

Entry of a judgment upon a written admission or confession of the debtor. This may be a first paper filing. The judgment may not exceed the monetary jurisdiction of the court.

Must be filed with the clerk within three (3) years of the date signed by the defendant.

A judgment by confession MAY be entered under the following circumstances:

a. For money due
b. For money to become due
c. To secure the plaintiff against a contingent liability on behalf of the defendant.

A Judgment of confession MAY NOT be entered when:
a. It is based on an affidavit which was executed prior to the time a default occurred in the payment involving installment purchases of personal as opposed to business goods for $1500.00 or less of any commodities for use other than a commercial or business use upon any plan of deferred payments where the price or cost is payable in two (2) or more installments
b. The defendant is deceased.

You will need to submit an affidavit of Defendant for Judgment by Confession of Money Due (Commercially produced form). The affidavit of Defendant for Judgment by Confession for Money Due must be executed by the defendants(s) and shall include the following information:

a. The amount for which the judgment may be entered
b. The county where the defendant resides or for non-residents, the county in which the entry is authorized.
c. The facts around which the debt arose.
d. That the amount confessed is due or is to become due.
e. The facts constituting the liability.
f. That the amount confessed to does not exceed the liability.

Confession by Joint Debtors

a. One or more debtors may confess a judgment for a joint debt due or a joint debt to become due
b. If all of the joint debtors do not unite in the confession, the judgment shall be entered only against those who confessed and is not a bar to an action against the other joint debtors upon the same demand

COSTS shall be taxed to the amount of $15.00 in addition to any disbursements taxable in the action.

For more information, you may refer to Interest, Costs or Disbursements.

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Judgment On Stipulation

Judgment entered following an agreement by the parties to the action (the stipulation). A stipulation may be about any aspect of a case, including the entry of judgment. The stipulation may be made in open court. If it is made outside the court it must be in writing and subscribed (signed) by the parties or their attorneys. If the stipulation is not in writing, it must be reduced to the form of an order and entered (CPLR Section 2104).

A Judgment based on stipulation normally comes before the clerk for entry on two (2) different occasions as follows:
a. The stipulation provides for the entry of a judgment, or
b. The stipulation provides for some action, and that upon failure to carry out the action a judgment may be entered.

NOTE: If the stipulation does not provide for the entry of a judgment, no judgment may be entered except under the provisions of CPLR Section 5003-a(e) (see below).

Requirements for Judgments pursuant to CPLR Section 3215(i)
a. An action must have been filed. If no action has been previously filed, a stipulation may be the first paper filing. In this case, a first paper must contain:
- Acceptance of service
- A provision for entry of a judgment within the jurisdiction of the court
b. Interest from a date certain must be provided for in the stipulation or no interest may be taxed.
c. An affidavit as to the failure to comply must be provided.

Requirements - Judgment pursuant to CPLR Section 5003a(e)
a. A copy of the release and stipulation discontinuing the action, which were sent to the defendant, must be provided.
b. Interest is to run from the date that the release and stipulation were tendered* to the defendant (*”tendered” for purposes of this section shall mean either to personally deliver or to mail, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested.)

For more information, you may go to Interest, Costs or Disbursements.

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Attorneys Fees

Attorneys fee applications may be entered by the court in its discretion on a quantum meruit (worked performed) basis when permitted by contract, agreement or law. In general, attorney fee applications are not liquidated amounts.

You must file an Affidavit or Affirmation in Support of Claim for Attorneys Fees in the county where the action is pending. The Application or Affirmation must contain the following:
a. Caption
b. State the name of the attorney making the claim and the firm name, if different
c. The grounds under which the attorney fee is due (contract, agreement, specific law, etc.) If based on a retail installment credit agreement, it must state that the attorney is not employed by the plaintiff (Personal Property Law Sec. 413(5)).
d. A statement as to when the claim was referred to the attorney for collection
e. A statement as to the kind of services normally conducted by the firm.
f. A statement that the attorney is familiar with the kind of services furnished and the attorney’s number of years of experience in this kind of litigation
g. An itemization of the services rendered on behalf of the plaintiff by the attorney. This statement should detail all the work done, including communications with the debtor, settlement discussions, prior payout arrangements, preparation of pleadings, initiation of suit, preparation of default judgment, etc.
h. A statement as to the hours worked by legal personnel and by non-legal personnel.
i. A statement as to when the papers were served and that the defendant is in default
j. The amount sued for (excluding attorney’s fees)
k. The percentage of the unpaid amount which may be requested. This varies. Personal Property Law Sec. 415(5) allows entry of up to 20% of the amount due and payable under a retail installment credit agreement. Other contracts allow other percentages. There must be some allegation as to how the percentage is determined
l. The amount sought as attorney’s fees. This may not exceed the maximum permitted by the contract
m. A statement as to the amount due to the attorney from the plaintiff were the plaintiff to collect on the judgment. This is normally given as a percentage and a total dollar amount
n. A statement that such an amount is not in excess of what is charged by other attorneys of similar experience within the city.
o. A wherefore clause requesting that an amount by awarded

Attorney fee applications may be denied, severed, or set for inquest by the judge.

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Interest

Interest shall be computed by the clerk from the earliest ascertainable date the cause of action existed or as directed by the judge to the date of entry of judgment.

The attorney for the successful party will pre-compute the allowable interest and indicate the same on the proposed judgment forms.

Effective June 26, 1981, standard interest is to be calculated at 9% per annum. The Monthly Interest Rate is 0.75%, and the Weekly Interest Rate is 0.173%. The formula for calculating interest is:

Principal x Annual Rate x Number of Months divided by 12, or

Principal x Annual Rate x Number of Days divided by 365/366.

9% Interest Chart, Calculated Monthly

1. .0075 31. .2325
2. .0150 32. .2400
3. .0225 33. .2475
4. .0300 34. .2550
5. .0375 35. .2625
6. .0450 36. .2700
7. .0525 37. .2775
8. .0600 38. .2850
9. .0675 39. .2925
10. .0750 40. .3000
11. .0825 41. .3075
12. .0900 42. .3150
13. .0975 43. .3225
14. .1050 44. .3300
15. .1125 45. .3375
16. .1200 46. .3450
17. .1275 47 .3525
18. .1350 48. .3600
19. .1425 49. .3675
20. .1500 50. .3750
21. .1575 51. .3825
22. .1650 52. .3900
23. .1725 53. .3975
24. .1800 54. .4050
25. .1875 55. .4125
26. .1950 56. .4200
27. .2025 57. .4275
28. .2100 58. .4350
29. .2175 59. .4425
30. .2250 60. .4500

 

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Costs

Cost are an arbitrary statutory sum that the winner gets from the loser.

Costs are based on the TOTAL AMOUNT of the judgment.

EXAMPLE:
Judgment awarded:
Damages $5,950.00
Interest  23.00
Atty. Fee 250.00
____________
TOTAL $6,223.00

Costs = $50.00 (because the Total amount is over $6,000.00).

PLEASE REFER TO THE FOLLOWING CHART FOR TOTAL COSTS. Costs are based upon the stage of the litigation at which the judgment is entered.

Total Costs
Court* CIVIL
$6,000 and under
CIVIL
Over $6,000
SUPREME
For CPLR § 325(d)
Before Notice of Trial-Note of Issue $20 $50 $200
After Notice of Trial $35 $100 $200
After Each Trial, Inquest or Assessment of Damages $60 $150 $300
Judgment on Confession CPLR § 3218(b) $15 only    

*NOTE: No costs are awarded for an action begun in Supreme Court where the amount recovered is less than $6,000. (See CPLR §8102)

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Additional Costs Provisions

1. COURT MAY DENY COSTS (CPLR section 8101) The court may deny costs if it determines it would not be equitable under all of the circumstances.

2. BOTH PARTIES AWARDED COSTS (CPLR Section 8103) The court may award costs to both the plaintiff (on the complaint) and to the defendant (on the counterclaim).

3. COSTS IN CONSOLIDATED ACTIONS (CPLR Section 8104) Where two or more actions are consolidated, costs shall be awarded in the consolidated action if it had been instituted as a single action, unless the order of consolidation otherwise provides.

4. COSTS IN SEVERED ACTIONS (CPLR 8104) where an action is severed into two or more actions, costs shall be awarded in each action as if it had been instituted as a separate action, unless the order of severance otherwise provides.

5. COSTS IN REMOVED ACTIONS (CPLR Section 8104) Where an action is removed, except pursuant to CPLR Section 325(d) costs shall be awarded as if it had been instituted in the court to which it is removed, unless the order of removal otherwise provides as limited by CPLR Section 8102.

6. COSTS IN REMOVED ACTIONS PURSUANT TO CPLR Section 325(d) Where an action is removed pursuant to this section (transferred without consent) costs in the action shall be awarded as if it had remained in the court from which it was removed as limited by CPLR Section 8102.

7. COSTS WHERE MORE THAN ONE PLAINTIFF OR DEFENDANT (CPLR Section 8105) Where a judgment is entered in favor of two or more parties as each is entitled to the same costs as a single party, unless the court otherwise orders.

NOTE: The full amount of costs and disbursements are taxed on each judgment entered. However, they are collected only once. For a “Joint Trial” of actions, costs are taxed for each case.

8. SPECIFICATIONS OF DENIAL OR AWARD OF COSTS (CPLR Section 8108) An award or denial of costs in an action may be directed by the court.

9. COSTS ADDED - Section 1904 NYCCCA Cost on appeal, and those awarded under NYCCCA Section 1102, may be added to the amount of costs otherwise applicable in the action.

10. C0STS ALLOWED BY COURT - Section 1906 NYCCCA The court may, in its discretion, impose cost not exceeding fifty dollars in the following cases:
a. Upon granting or denying a motion
b. Upon allowing an amendment of a pleading
c. Upon adjournment of a trial

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Disbursements

When costs are awarded, the prevailing party is entitled to necessary disbursements - out of pocket expenses - excluding attorneys fees.

The full amount of costs and disbursements are taxed on each judgment entered. However, they are collected only once.

Fees which can be inserted in the judgment:
a. Fees paid to the clerk such as the filing fee, notice of trial and jury demand.
b. Fee for issuing execution to the enforcement officer and prospective filing fees.
c. Reasonable expense of serving process (other than service by an enforcement officer).

Fee Civil Court Supreme Court
Filing Fee $45 $210
Filing Fee - Consumer Credit Action $140 n/a
Request for Judicial
Intervention
  $95
Motion/Cross Motion n/a $45
Notice of Trial/Inquest-
Note of Issue
$40 $125/30
Jury Fee $70 $65

Regardless of which Court:
Prospective Marshal’s Fee $40
Service by Sheriff (inside city limits) $10
Service by Sheriff (outside city limits) $10 + 0.23 per mile with receipt
Service by Licensed Process Server (per Defendant) Without receipt - Amount Paid,up to $25
With receipt - Up to $75
Service upon the Secretary of State $40

Other taxable disbursements - such as witness fees, deposition fees requested by a successful party, are normally permitted only after trial, and must be noticed before the clerk on two days notice by the entitled party to the adverse party.
a. Legal fees of witnesses $15.00 plus $.23/mile (Generally “expert” or “professional” witness fees such as physicians, appraisers, etc. are not taxable above the statutory rate)
b. Legal fees paid for certified copies of documents necessary for trial.
c. The reasonable compensation of commissioners for taking depositions
d. Other “reasonable and necessary” expenses (see CPLR Section 8301)

All disbursements taxable on notice must be verified by affidavit.

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Judgment Checklist

Please check to see that:

___ the Civil Court Index Number is correct. (DO NOT use a Supreme Court Number)

___ a full and complete caption is on the Judgment.

___ the recovery clause contains the names and addresses of the appropriate parties and, if necessary, conforms with the Affidavit(s) of Service.

___ the Summons used is proper (See NYCCA Art. 4).

___ in instances when a natural person has been served, that the Affidavit of Service upon a natural person (as per CPLR § 308) was completed correctly, and that there is a valid Non-Military Affidavit.

___ if Affidavit of Service was notarized outside of New York State the court's directive regarding Certificate of Conformity has been complied with.

___ the Affidavit of Service upon a partnership, or upon a domestic or authorized foreign corporation as per CPLR §§ 310 and 311 respectively, was filled out correctly.

___ if the request is for a Default Judgment under CPLR § 3215, not more than one year has elapsed from the time of default.

___ if cause of action arises from the plaintiff's conduct of a business which is required by state or local law to be licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs of the City of NY, the court's directive regarding CPLR §3015(e) has been complied with.

___ if the Complaint was not verified in accordance with CPLR § 3215(f), you have provided an Affidavit of Facts from a person with personal knowledge of the facts.

___ if request is for a Default Judgment on purchased debt, where the debt was purchased after September 1, 2009,the court's directives on Default Judgments on Purchased Debt has been complied with.

___ if the request for Default Judgment is in regards to a Consumer Credit transaction, the court's directives on Notification of the Returned Additional Notice, and Time Barred Debt have been complied with.

___ the claim is for a sum certain or for an amount which can, by computation, be made certain by the Clerk. If it is not a "sum certain," an Inquest by the Court will be required.

___ the additional mailing requirements under CPLR § 3215(g) have been met.

___ the interest calculations are correct in accordance with CPLR § 5004, or if different by contract, that you have complied with directives DRP 136, 136A and 136B. (See the Clerk)

___ the cost and disbursement calculations are accurate. See NYCCA Article 19 and CPLR Articles 81,82 and 83 and the reverse side of this sheet.

___ if you are requesting non-contractual attorney fees, you have submitted the request to the Clerk's Office, that the signed Order is attached and that the amount requested is the amount granted in the Order.

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