If you are involved in a lawsuit in Oklahoma, take time to learn about the statute of limitations on judgment collection. Plaintiffs need to take regular action on collecting a judgment or they risk losing their right to collect if the statute of limitations run out. Defendants, on the other hand, shouldn't rely on the statute of limitations to negate their obligations, as it is easy for a judgment creditor to keep renewing it until a judgment debt is settled or paid.
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is the legally prescribed period in which the government or an individual can bring or enforce a legal action against a person, business or organization. Statute of limitations laws apply to both criminal charges and civil lawsuits, though there are some crimes for which there is no statute of limitations. The length of the statute of limitations varies by state as well as the nature of the crime or civil matter.
When a plaintiff in a lawsuit wins her case against the defendant, the plaintiff then becomes a "judgment creditor" and can take several steps to collect the full amount of what is owed by the defendant, who is now known as a "judgment debtor." In Oklahoma, a judgment creditor has the right to attempt to collect his debt by several methods, including seizing a debtor's property or bank account or garnishing his wages.
Collecting a Domestic Judgment in Oklahoma
Under Oklahoma law, a judgment creditor has five years from the date that the judgment creditor files the judgment with the appropriate court clerk to collect his judgment. During this time, he can pursue any legal means of getting the debtor to pay the judgment. If the statute of limitations expires, the judgment creditor cannot legally force the debtor to pay the balance remaining on the judgment debt.
Under Oklahoma law, the statute of limitations on judgment collections is five years -- but only if the judgment creditor takes no action on the judgment during the statute of limitations period. By continually taking action to collect the debt, a creditor can prevent the statute of limitations from expiring. The creditor can also go to court and ask the judge to renew the statute of limitations on the debt.
- BCS Alliance; Wage Garnishment and Bankruptcy Exemptions -- Oklahoma
- The Oklahoma State Courts Network; Oklahoma Statutes; 12 O.S. 95, Limitation of Other Actions
- The Oklahoma State Courts Network; 12 O.S. 735, Must Be Issued Within Five Years or Judgment Becomes Dormant -- Inapplicable to Municipalities