The Importance of Good Records
If there is a dispute about the amount owed for a judgment, records proving who has paid for what and how much will be very important. The history of a judgment is impossible to recreate from memory. That's why it is important to keep contemporaneous records of transactions.
The court will have a copy of the judgment, and the parties should keep their copies too. The parties should also keep records of all other transactions related to the judgment. The parties should keep the receipt and/or a copy of the check when the creditor pays a cost that can be recovered from the debtor-such as attorney fees, if authorized, or the fee to apply for a writ of garnishment or a writ of execution, or the fee to serve the writ, or the fee paid to a garnishee. The parties should also keep the receipt and/or a copy of the check when the debtor or the debtor's insurance provider pays an amount toward the judgment. Similarly, the parties should keep the receipt and/or a copy of the check when a garnishee withholds wages or other money from the debtor, or when the creditor receives the proceeds of a sheriff's sale, or when the debtor forfeits bail to the creditor.
When moving to renew a judgment, the creditor will have to prove the amount due, including the amount of the judgment, the amount of post-judgment interest, the collection costs, attorney fees, if they are authorized, and the amount that the debtor has paid. When moving to satisfy a judgment, the debtor will have to prove these things. And each party will have a chance to dispute the other party's accounting. Testimony or an affidavit from the creditor or debtor is evidence of the amount due, but contemporaneous written records are more reliable.
If the parties have a contract that establishes a post-judgment interest rate, that rate will be applied to the original judgment and any renewal of it. Under Utah Code Section 15-1-4, other civil judgments bear interest at two percent more than the federal interest rate for the year in which the judgment was entered, and they keep that rate for the life of the judgment, even if the federal rate changes in the meantime. The post-judgment interest on a renewed judgment will be determined by the year in which the renewed judgment is effective, unless there is a contract establishing a different amount. For more information on the post-judgment interest rate for a year since 1993, see our webpage on Post Judgment Interest Rates.
Statute of Limitations for Renewing a Judgment
The statute of limitations for renewing a judgment is 8 years from the date of the judgment. Utah Code Section 78B-2-311. The judgment creditor can file a motion to renew the judgment, but must do so before the statute of limitations expires. If the statute of limitations expires after the Motion to Renew Judgment is filed but before the motion is ruled on, the renewed judgment is effective on the old judgment's expiration date even if the renewed judgment is not signed until later.
Renewing a Civil or Small Claims Judgment from District Court
A civil or small claims judgment from district court can be renewed by filing a Motion to Renew Judgment with the court that entered the judgment.
The motion must be filed before the statute of limitations on the judgment expires. The filing fee for the motion is one-half the fee for a civil complaint claiming the same amount.
The Affidavit Supporting the Motion to Renew Judgment must contain an accounting of the judgment, including the costs, post-judgment interest, and attorney fees added to the judgment, and the payments made by the judgment debtor. The motion must be served by any method of service authorized by URCP 5. The court will follow the regular motion procedures under URCP 7, allowing the judgment debtor the opportunity to dispute the accounting. For more information about motion practice, see our webpage on Motions, but use the forms in the Forms section, below.
An order renewing a judgment will include all of the costs incurred and payments made up to the date of the renewed judgment. The renewed judgment is effective from the date the judge signs it or from the old judgment's expiration date, whichever is earlier. Utah Code Section 78B-6-1804.
Renewing a Small Claims Judgment from Justice Court
Renewing a judgment by motion in the justice court is not permitted. Utah Code Section 78B-6-1802. Small claims judgments from the justice courts can be renewed by filing a small claims case in justice court or by filing a regular civil case in district court. In either event, the judgment creditor must file a lawsuit-not a motion-claiming non-payment of the judgment. This is a new lawsuit with a new filing fee and personal service on the debtor. The claim for damages is based on non-payment of the judgment, not on the facts that gave rise to the judgment.
To renew a small claims judgment in justice court the creditor files another small claims case. For more information and forms, see our webpage on Small Claims.
A small claims judgment from justice court may also be renewed by filing a regular civil case in district court. This process will initially be more expensive-the filing fee is more and the procedures are more complex-than a small claims action. But once a civil judgment is entered in district court, any future renewals can be done by motion, which generally is less expensive. There are no forms available on this website for filing a civil complaint in district court claiming non-payment of a small claims judgment.
The judgment debtor will have an opportunity to dispute the creditor's accounting, and the facts will be determined by the judge. However, if the debtor agrees with the accounting and agrees that the renewed judgment is correct as requested by the creditor, the debtor can stipulate that the judgment be renewed without further proceedings.
Will the motion be decided by a judge or commissioner?
Judges may rule on all motions in all types of cases. However, in Judicial Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4, commissioners are assigned to hear most matters in divorce cases and several other types of family law cases. Motions decided by a judge and motions decided by a commissioner follow different procedures.
If you are not sure whether your case is assigned to a judge or commissioner, find out. Call the court, or look at the caption of the complaint or petition. If a commissioner's name has been listed in the caption, the motion likely will be decided by a commissioner.
Motions decided by a judge are governed by URCP 7. A judge will not rule on a motion until the time for filing an opposition to the motion has passed and a Request to Submit for Decision has been filed.
Motions decided by a commissioner are governed by URCP 101.
See the Motions web page for information about the difference in procedures and timelines depending on who is deciding the motion.
Information about filing documents in existing cases by email
Some forms may not apply in all cases.
The forms you need depend on your case. What is your case about?