Arizona Extends Judgment Validity and Renewal Deadline from Five to Ten Years
Current Arizona law (A.R.S. §§ 12-1551, 12-1611 and 12-1612) allows a judgment to be enforced by writ of execution or renewed within five years of its date of entry. On March 20, 2018, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law House Bill 2240 (the "Bill"), which will replace the former five-year limitations in Arizona's judgment validity and judgment renewal statutes with ten-year limitations. The Bill takes effect on August 3, 2018.
Judgments Entered On or After August 3, 2018
A judgment or judgment lien will be valid for ten years from its date of entry. A.R.S. § 12-1551.
The deadline for renewing a judgment by filing a lawsuit or an affidavit will be ten years from the judgment's date of entry. A.R.S. §§ 12-1611, 12-1612.
Judgments Entered Before August 3, 2018
There is some uncertainty regarding the Bill's effect on judgments entered or renewed before August 3, 2018. We anticipate that another statute (A.R.S. § 12-505), Arizona precedent, and the texts of the statutes themselves will determine how the amended statutes will affect these judgments. Therefore, absent contrary legislative or judicial guidance, we anticipate that the amended statutes will result in the following consequences:
A judgment that has not expired as of the Bill's effective date will be valid for ten years from its date of entry.
A renewed judgment that has not expired as of the Bill's effective date will be valid for ten years from its date of entry and will have a ten-year deadline from its date of entry for successive renewals.
Judgments that have expired prior to the Bill's effective date will remain invalid—they will not be revived.
Nonetheless, due to the uncertainty surrounding how the Bill will affect these earlier judgments, judgment creditors should consider renewing judgments under both a five and ten-year renewal schedule.