Arizona law now provides that an Arizona judgment is enforceable for ten (10) [formerly, five (5)] years after entry of judgment or after renewal of the judgment.  ARS § 12-1551(A).  A judgment may be renewed by “taking action on the judgment.” ARS § 12-1611.  A judgment may also be renewed by filing with the clerk of the proper court a renewal affidavit within ninety (90) days preceding expiration of the ten-year period. ARS § 12-1612(B).

“Taking action on the judgment” does not mean trying to collect the judgment.  It means that a separate lawsuit is filed to establish the continued validity of the judgment.  See, Hall v. World Sav. and Loan Ass’n., 189 Ariz. 495, 502, 943 P.2d 855 (App. 1997) (“A judgment may be renewed either by filing a lawsuit thereon or by filing an affidavit of renewal with the clerk of the appropriate court . . .”).

If the judgment has not been renewed, it is unenforceable after the ten-year period has expired. ARS § 12-1551(B).  Likewise, a judgment lien is enforceable for ten (10) years from the date of the judgment, once recorded in the office of the county recorder where the property is located.  ARS § 33-961(A).  The lien may be renewed by filing in the office of the county recorder a copy of an affidavit of renewal certified by the clerk of the court.  ARS § 12-1613(C).

Different rules apply to out-of-state judgments (foreign judgments).  Judgments obtained in Arizona justice courts may also be subject to different rules.

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