Collecting Judgments in California – Definition of “Money Judgment”

When collecting judgments in California, the meaning of certain judgment-related terms can be very important.  This post explains California’s Enforcement of Judgment Laws definition of the term “money judgment”.

A “money judgment” is the part of a judgment requiring the payment of money.  A money judgment usually must be stated with certainty and specificity.  In other words, a money judgment must state the precise amount of money to be paid by the debtor.  CCP § 680.270; see Guess v. Bernhardson (2015) 242 Cal.App.4th 820, 831.

Not all judgments are “money judgments”. For example, a judgment providing only for a permanent injunction is not a “money judgment”. Also, even if a court’s order is not described as a “judgment”, it may nonetheless be considered a “money judgment” under California’s Enforcement of Judgment Laws. For example, a sanctions order requiring one party to pay money to the other should constitute a “money judgment”.

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