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What is a civil judgement?

Updated March 23, 2017

A civil judgment is court-ordered compensation from an offender to a victim. A judge can order a civil judgment in a criminal case or a civil lawsuit. A civil judgment has a negative effect on a debtor's finances.

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A civil judgment is a court decision ordering one of the parties involved in a lawsuit to pay a specific amount of money to the other party. It remains in effect for 10 years and can be renewed upon expiration.


A civil judgment is a way for a victim to receive compensation from an offender. When a civil judgment is filed, it shows up on the offender's credit report, possibly preventing him from obtaining a loan until he pays the judgment. It automatically becomes a lien on any real estate that the offender owns. If he sells the property, the profits will cover the judgment automatically.


Getting a civil judgment does not mean that you will automatically get the money from the offender. Collecting the funds may cost you £32 or more in court and other fees. You must calculate the possible costs, the amount of restitution and whether the offender has the ability to pay it. You may need to hire a solicitor and a barrister, which will add to the total cost. Costs may be added to the judgment amount.


If you collect all or part of the judgment, you must provide the other party with a "Satisfaction of Judgment" or "Partial Satisfaction of Judgment." You can get this form from the court administrator. You must also file the form with the court and pay a small filing fee. If the debtor paid in cash, you must provide and file the form within 10 days; otherwise, you have 30 days to do it.

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About the Author

Julianne Russ

Julianne Russ has been a freelance writer since 2009. She specializes in articles about banking, management, foreign languages and education. She has a Bachelor of Arts in international management from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn.

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