TITLE 10

Courts and Judicial Procedure

Procedure

CHAPTER 47. JUDGMENTS

Subchapter I. Lien of Judgments


As used in this subchapter:

"Terre tenant" means the grantee of real estate to whom the same has been conveyed, as appears by the last conveyance of the same of record.

23 Del. Laws, c. 200, § 8; Code 1915, § 4300; Code 1935, § 4772; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 4701.;

A judgment shall bind lands only from the time of actually entering or signing it, and not by relation from the first day of the term in or of which it is entered.

Code 1852, § 2396; Code 1915, § 4282; Code 1935, § 4754; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 4702.;

A judgment upon a verdict, if entered before the end of the term next after that in which it is given, shall be deemed to be entered at the same time as the verdict, and shall bind accordingly.

Code 1852, § 2397; Code 1915, § 4283; Code 1935, § 4755; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 4703.;

A judgment given, amount to be ascertained by the prothonotary or other person, shall bind from the time of its entry, if the amount is ascertained and entered upon the docket before the first day of the term next after that in which the judgment is given; but otherwise only from the time of entering upon the docket the ascertained amount.

Code 1852, § 2398; Code 1915, § 4284; Code 1935, § 4756; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 4704.;

If several judgments are entered against the same person, on the same day, the first entered has priority. If where there are several judgments against the same person, it does not appear, by the entries, which was first entered, they shall, when given in actions previously commenced, have priority according to the priority of the dates of the actions in which they are respectively given.

Code 1852, § 2399; Code 1915, § 4285; Code 1935, § 4757; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 4705.;

A judgment entered during a term, if the day of entering it does not appear by the docket, shall be postponed to a judgment entered during the period of the same term, the day of entering which does appear by the docket. None of the foregoing regulations shall contravene the provisions of § 4703 of this title, respecting judgment upon a verdict.

Code 1852, § 2400; Code 1915, § 4286; Code 1935, § 4758; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 4706.;

Sections 4702-4706 of this title do not extend to judgments before a justice of the peace or to judgments of the Court of Common Pleas.

Code 1852, § 2401; Code 1915, § 4287; Code 1935, § 4759; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 4707.;

A final judgment of the Supreme Court, given upon the reversal of a judgment of the Superior Court, shall bind real estate in the county wherein were the proceedings in the Court below, from the date of entering it in the Supreme Court, if, the record being remanded, the judgment is entered upon the docket of the Court below within 20 days after such date. If the judgment is not so entered within such time, it shall be a lien only from the time of entering it upon the docket of the Court below.

Code 1852, § 2402; Code 1915, § 4288; Code 1935, § 4760; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 4708.;

The prothonotary of the Court below to whom a record remanded with a duly certified copy of the proceedings and judgment of the Supreme Court is delivered, shall without delay file it, and enter upon the docket of the Court below, in connection with the entries of the proceedings in the cause in the Court, the proceedings and judgment of the Supreme Court, with the date of making such entry.

Code 1852, § 2403; Code 1915, § 4289; Code 1935, § 4761; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 4709.;

(a) The entry, made under § 4709 of this title, shall be a record, and the judgment, so entered, shall have the same force and effect as a judgment of the Court below, and shall be executed by the process of that Court in like manner as judgments of such Court. The lien thereof may be extended to lands and tenements in another county by means of a testatum fieri facias entered of record in the office of the prothonotary of the county.

(b) The lien of a judgment shall not be extended by affirmance to real estate not bound by the original judgment.

(c) A judgment of the Supreme Court shall not bind real estate otherwise than as prescribed by this section.

Code 1852, §§ 2404-2406; Code 1915, §§ 4290-4292; Code 1935, §§ 4762-4764; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 4710.;

No judgment for the recovery of money entered or recorded in the Superior Court, whether rendered by that Court or transferred thereto from the Supreme Court, or from the dockets of a justice of the peace or the Court of Common Pleas, or operative by virtue of any writ of testatum fieri facias, or otherwise, howsoever recorded in the Court, shall continue a lien upon real estate for a longer term than 10 years next following the day of entry or recording of such judgment, or, in case the whole or any part of the money for which the judgment is recovered or rendered shall not be due and payable at or before the time of its entry or recording, the day on which such money shall have become wholly due and payable, unless, within the term of 10 years, the lien of such judgment is renewed and continued by a written agreement, signed by the plaintiff, or if there is more than 1, 1 or more of the plaintiffs therein, or the assignee or assignees thereof, or the person or persons to whose use such judgment shall have been marked, such person's or persons' executors or administrators, and by the defendant or defendants therein, such defendant's or defendants' executors or administrators, and, in order to bind lands conveyed by the defendant or defendants by deeds of record subsequent to such judgment, the terre tenant or terre tenants of the real estate bound by such lien, or, in case of a judgment upon a mechanic's lien, the terre tenant or terre tenants of such real estate, or by the attorneys of record of the respective parties to such judgment, or of the persons interested therein, in substantially the following form, after stating the title of the cause: "It is agreed that the lien of this judgment shall be extended for the term of 10 years," filed in the office of the prothonotary and by the prothonotary minuted and certified upon the record of the judgment, or of the testatum fieri facias, as the case may be, or by scire facias, in manner set forth in this section. If a writ of scire facias is sued out of the Court before the expiration of the term of 10 years, and the term expires during the pendency of the proceedings upon the scire facias, the lien of the judgment shall continue until final determination by the Court of the rights of the respective parties thereto, or until the discontinuance or dismissal of such scire facias. If final judgment in such scire facias is rendered against the plaintiff or plaintiffs therein, and an appeal or a writ of error is taken, and the Supreme Court renders final judgment thereon in favor of the plaintiff, plaintiff in error, or appellant, the lien of such original judgment shall be restored and continued. Such restoration or continuance of the lien by such final judgment of the Supreme Court shall not in any manner affect or be operative as against any bona fide purchaser, mortgagee or judgment creditor, who becomes such after the entry of such final judgment by the Superior Court upon such scire facias and before the noting upon the record of such final judgment in such scire facias of the taking of the appeal or writ of error.

No judgment which is a general lien, including judgments for costs and judgments in favor of the State or any political subdivision thereof, shall remain a lien for more than the 10-year period hereinabove provided, unless renewed for a further 10-year term in accordance with the provisions of this section.

This section shall not apply to those judgments entered of record pursuant to court-ordered restitution awards as provided in § 4101(b) of Title 11.

19 Del. Laws, c. 778, § 1; 22 Del. Laws, c. 457, § 1; 23 Del. Laws, c. 200, § 1; Code 1915, § 4293; Code 1935, § 4765; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 4711; 50 Del. Laws, c. 319, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 27, § 9.;

Immediately from and after the minuting and certifying upon the record of the original judgment, or of the testatum fieri facias, as the case may be, of the agreement for the extension of the lien thereof, or the entry of final judgment in the Superior Court in favor of the plaintiff or plaintiffs in the writ of scire facias, or the entry of final judgment in the Supreme Court restoring and continuing such lien, such lien shall continue for the further term of 10 years next thereafter unless sooner lost by final judgment of the Supreme Court. In like manner and with like effect such liens so renewed or restored and continued may, by a like agreement filed, minuted and certified upon the record of such original judgment, or of such testatum fieri facias, as the case may be, before the expiration of the extended term or by final judgment in scire facias, be again renewed or restored and continued for the further term of 10 years, and so from time to time as often as is found necessary.

19 Del. Laws, c. 778, § 2; 22 Del. Laws, c. 457, § 2; 23 Del. Laws, c. 200, § 2; Code 1915, § 4294; Code 1935, § 4766; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 4712.;

No real estate shall be seized or taken by virtue of execution process upon any judgment, for the recovery of money, entered or recorded in the Superior Court, after the expiration of the term of 10 years next following the day of entry or recording of such judgment, or, in case the whole or any part of the money for which such judgment was recovered or rendered was not due or payable at or before the time of its entry or recording, the day on which such money became or becomes wholly due and payable. At the expiration of the term of 10 years the lien of such judgment upon real estate shall be lost, unless within the term of 10 years such judgment is renewed and continued by agreement filed or by scire facias sued out in the manner provided in §§ 4711 and 4712 of this title. All the provisions of such sections, not inconsistent with this section, shall be applicable for the renewal or restoration and continuance and preservation of the lien of the judgments mentioned in this section, and as to the force and effect and the loss of such lien.

19 Del. Laws, c. 778, § 3; 22 Del. Laws, c. 457, § 3; 23 Del. Laws, c. 200, § 3; Code 1915, § 4295; Code 1935, § 4767; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 4713.;

In case the lien upon real estate of any judgment for the recovery of money entered or recorded in the Superior Court of this State is lost or interrupted under the provisions of this chapter, and the judgment is thereafter revived by scire facias, the same, when so revived, shall be a lien upon the real estate of the defendant or defendants in the original judgment, or in case of judgment upon a mechanic's lien, upon the real estate originally bound by such mechanic's lien, from the time of such revival, but such lien shall not relate back, nor shall it in any manner affect any prior bona fide purchaser or mortgagee from or judgment creditor of such defendant or defendants or terre tenant or terre tenants.

19 Del. Laws, c. 778, § 4; 22 Del. Laws, c. 457, § 4; 23 Del. Laws, c. 200, § 4; Code 1915, § 4296; Code 1935, § 4768; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 4714.;

(a) In all cases where no agreement for the renewal and extension of the lien of judgments, as provided for in this subchapter, has been minuted and certified, the plaintiff or plaintiffs in such judgments or the assignee or assignees thereof or the person or persons to whose use such judgment has been or shall be marked, or his, her, or their executors or administrators, may cause a writ of scire facias to be issued against the defendant or defendants in such judgment and the terre tenant or terre tenants of the real estate bound by such lien or, in case of a judgment on a mechanic's lien, the terre tenant or terre tenants, directed to the sheriff of the county in which such writ issues, commanding the sheriff to make known to the defendant or defendants therein that the defendant or defendants appear before the court and show cause, if any there be, why the lien of such judgment should not be renewed and continued and execution should not issue on such judgment. In all respects the practice, pleadings and procedure upon such scire facias shall conform as nearly as may be to the practice, pleadings and procedure on other writs of scire facias sued out of the courts upon judgments under existing law.

(b) If final judgment is rendered for the plaintiff or plaintiffs in such writ, it shall be that the lien of such original judgments stands renewed and continued for the term of 10 years next following the day of the entry of such judgment in the action of scire facias, and that the plaintiff or plaintiffs therein have execution thereon as in other cases during the term of 10 years.

19 Del. Laws, c. 778, § 5; 22 Del. Laws, c. 457, § 5; 23 Del. Laws, c. 200, § 5; Code 1915, § 4297; Code 1935, § 4769; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 4715; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) This subchapter shall not operate to defeat the due enforcement of any writ of execution under any judgment for the recovery of money entered or recorded in the Superior Court, by virtue of which real estate is seized or taken, if such writ of execution is issued before the expiration of the said term of 10 years. They shall not apply to any judgment upon a mortgage or mechanic's lien.

(b) No general lien which would have remained in force for more than 10 years under this section as it existed prior to June 23, 1955, shall be lost by virtue of § 4711 of this title or subsection (a) of this section, if within 1 year from June 23, 1955, such lien shall be extended in accordance with this subchapter.

19 Del. Laws, c. 778, § 6; 22 Del. Laws, c. 457, § 6; 23 Del. Laws, c. 200, § 6; Code 1915, § 4298; Code 1935, § 4770; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 4716; 50 Del. Laws, c. 319, §§ 2, 3.;

A judgment, entered by the prothonotary of the Superior Court upon an obligation, without complaint filed, according to § 2306 of this title, shall have the same force and effect as if a complaint had been filed and judgment confessed by an attorney, or judgment obtained in open court.

Code 1852, § 2408; Code 1915, § 4303; Code 1935, § 4775; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 4717.;

No judgment entered by virtue of a warrant of attorney in the Superior Court, upon any bond or obligation with condition other than for the payment of money, shall be or operate as a lien upon real estate until the bond or obligation and warrant of attorney, or a copy thereof, certified under the hand of the prothonotary and the seal of the Court, is filed in the office of such prothonotary. The prothonotary, at all times thereafter, shall safely keep such bond or obligation and warrant of attorney, or certified copy thereof, in his or her office. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any official bond or obligation given by a public officer.

19 Del. Laws, c. 778, § 7; 22 Del. Laws, c. 457, § 7; 23 Del. Laws, c. 200, § 7; Code 1915, § 4299; Code 1935, § 4771; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 4718; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;