New York Courts dot gov
New York StateUnified Court System

Entering Civil Judgments


Self-Represented Litigants

In General
Entry of Judgment
Serving “Notice of Entry”
Default Judgments
Non-Military Affidavits
Enforcement

In General

The outcome of a civil case is generally a judgment. You may have received a judgment in your favor after trial, inquest, arbitration, default, stipulation or motion. The judgment establishes the rights and obligations of the parties and may direct a dismissal of the lawsuit, order payment of a money amount or direct one or more of the parties to do an act.

In order to start enforcing a judgment, the judgment must be “entered.” Entry occurs after the clerk of the court signs and files the judgment. If you appeared in person (without an attorney) and you are the winner, you may ask the clerk to prepare and enter (record) a judgment in your favor. If you are an attorney, you must prepare the judgment yourself. Attorneys may go to Entering Judgments - Attorneys for more information.

back to top


Entry of Judgment

Self-represented winning parties must come to court to have the clerk prepare and enter their judgments.

The clerk needs your court file to prepare the judgment. To find out where to request the “entry of judgment” in your county, refer to Locations.

In addition to the amount of damages due, judgments include an award of costs and disbursements. You should bring receipts with you to court for the clerk for any expenses you paid for serving papers. If the judgment is for money, interest will also be added. The clerk will calculate the amounts awarded in the judgment. The clerk will then enter the judgment in your favor and give you a copy.

back to top


Serving “Notice of Entry”

Once the judgment is entered, the winner should serve a copy of the judgment with “notice of entry” on the loser. This service starts the loser’s time to appeal running. You can follow the procedure below for each person or corporation that must be served:

1. Go to Notice of Entry to download the form.
2. Complete the Notice of Entry form.
3. Make several copies of the judgment and Notice of Entry.
4. Attach a copy of the judgment to the completed Notice of Entry form.
5. Have someone over the age of 18, who is not suing in this action, mail a copy of the Notice of Entry and Judgment by regular mail to the person or corporation which must be served.
6. Next you need an affidavit swearing that the Judgment with Notice of Entry was served. Go to Affidavit of Service to download the form.
7. Prepare an Affidavit of Service for the person or corporation served. Have the person who did the mailing sign the Affidavit of Service and have it notarized.
8. Attach the original Affidavit of Service to a copy of the Notice of Entry and Judgment that was served.
9. Return the Notice of Entry, Judgment and Affidavit of Service to the Court, keep a copy for your records.

back to top


Default Judgments

If the defendant fails to answer, the plaintiff may request that the clerk place the case on the calendar for an inquest. If the plaintiff proves his or her case to the judge, the clerk will enter a judgment. Use the Inquest Request to email your request to the Court.

back to top


Non-Military Affidavits

In some cases you may be required to provide information to the court regarding the defendant’s military status or you may be required to file a non-military affidavit. Federal and State law require that before a judgment can be entered against a natural person an affidavit as to the person’s military status must be filed. This affidavit generally must be less than 30 days old. You may click on Affidavit of Military Investigation to view and/or download a copy of the free Civil Court form. For more information, you may click on Non-Military Affidavit to read the Civil Court Directive on the subject.

back to top


Enforcement

Once the judgment is entered and filed by the court, the judgment is enforceable for a period of twenty years for money. When a “Transcript of Judgment” is filed with the County Clerk, the judgment is enforceable for ten years against real property and is renewable for an additional ten years. To learn more about collecting on a judgment, refer to After the Case is Over.

back to top



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Map of NY City Counties  Search Civil Court:
 
  •