Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
Subtitle .
Chapter 17. Judgments and Decrees Generally
2/3/2023

Chapter 17. Judgments and Decrees Generally.

Article 1. In General.

§ 8.01-426. "Judgment" includes decree.

A decree for land or specific personal property, and a decree or order requiring the payment of money, shall have the effect of a judgment for such land, property, or money, and be embraced by the word "judgment," where used in this chapter or in Chapters 18, 19 or 20 of this title or in Title 43; but a party may proceed to carry into execution a decree or order other than for the payment of money, as he might have done if this and the following section had not been enacted.

Code 1950, § 8-343; 1977, c. 617; 2005, c. 681.

§ 8.01-427. Persons entitled under decree deemed judgment creditors; execution on decree.

The persons entitled to the benefit of any decree or order requiring the payment of money shall be deemed judgment creditors, although the money be required to be paid into a court, or a bank, or other place of deposit. In such case, an execution on the decree or order shall make such recital thereof, and of the parties to it, as may be necessary to identify the case; and if a time be specified in the decree or order within which the payment is to be made, the execution shall not issue until the expiration of that time.

Code 1950, § 8-344; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-427.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1978, c. 426, effective March 31, 1978.

§ 8.01-428. Setting aside default judgments; clerical mistakes; independent actions to relieve party from judgment or proceedings; grounds and time limitations.

A. Default judgments and decrees pro confesso; summary procedure. Upon motion of the plaintiff or judgment debtor and after reasonable notice to the opposite party, his attorney of record or other agent, the court may set aside a judgment by default or a decree pro confesso upon the following grounds: (i) fraud on the court, (ii) a void judgment, (iii) on proof of an accord and satisfaction, or (iv) on proof that the defendant was, at the time of service of process or entry of judgment, a servicemember as defined in 50 U.S.C. § 3911. Such motion on the ground of fraud on the court shall be made within two years from the date of the judgment or decree.

B. Clerical mistakes. Clerical mistakes in all judgments or other parts of the record and errors therein arising from oversight or from an inadvertent omission may be corrected by the court at any time on its own initiative or upon the motion of any party and after such notice, as the court may order. During the pendency of an appeal, such mistakes may be corrected before the appeal is docketed in the appellate court, and thereafter while the appeal is pending such mistakes may be corrected with leave of the appellate court.

C. Failure to notify party or counsel of final order. If counsel, or a party not represented by counsel, who is not in default in a circuit court is not notified by any means of the entry of a final order and the circuit court is satisfied that such lack of notice (i) did not result from a failure to exercise due diligence on the part of that party and (ii) denied that party an opportunity to pursue post-trial relief in the circuit court or to file an appeal therefrom, the circuit court may, within 60 days of the entry of such order, modify, vacate, or suspend the order or grant the party leave to appeal. Where the circuit court grants the party leave to appeal, the computation of time for noting and perfecting an appeal shall run from the entry of such order, and such order shall have no other effect.

D. Other judgments or proceedings. This section does not limit the power of the court to entertain at any time an independent action to relieve a party from any judgment or proceeding, or to grant relief to a defendant not served with process as provided in § 8.01-322, or to set aside a judgment or decree for fraud upon the court.

E. Nothing in this section shall constitute grounds to set aside an otherwise valid default judgment against a defendant who was not, at the time of service of process or entry of judgment, a servicemember as defined in 50 U.S.C. § 3911.

1977, c. 617; 1991, c. 39; 1993, c. 951; 2005, cc. 333, 909.

§ 8.01-429. Action of appellate court when there might be redress under § 8.01-428.

No appeal shall be allowed by the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court or any judge or justice thereof for any matter for which a judgment or decree is liable to be reversed or amended, on motion as aforesaid, by the court which rendered it, or the judge thereof, until such motion is made and overruled in whole or in part. And when the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court hears a case on appeal, if it appears that, either before or since the appeal, the judgment or decree has been so amended, the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court shall affirm the judgment or decree, unless there is other error. If it appears that the amendment ought to be, and has not been made, the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court may make such amendment, and affirm in like manner the judgment or decree, unless there is other error.

Code 1950, § 8-349; 1977, c. 617; 1984, c. 703.

§ 8.01-430. When final judgment to be entered after verdict set aside.

When the verdict of a jury in a civil action is set aside by a trial court upon the ground that it is contrary to the evidence, or without evidence to support it, a new trial shall not be granted if there is sufficient evidence before the court to enable it to decide the case upon its merits, but such final judgment shall be entered as to the court shall seem right and proper. If necessary to assess damages which have not been assessed, the court may empanel a jury at its bar to make such assessment, and then enter such final judgment.

Nothing in this section contained shall be construed to give to trial courts any greater power over verdicts than they now have under existing rules of procedure, nor to impair the right to move for a new trial on the ground of after-discovered evidence.

Code 1950, § 8-352; 1977, c. 617.

Article 2. Judgments by Confession.

§ 8.01-431. Judgment or decree by confession in pending suit.

In any suit a defendant may, whether the suit is on the court docket or not, confess a judgment in the clerk's office for so much principal and interest as the plaintiff may be willing to accept a judgment or decree for. The same shall be entered of record by the clerk in the order book and be as final and as valid as if entered in court on the day of such confession. The clerk shall record such judgment or decree and the date and time of the day at which the same was confessed. The lien of such judgment or decree shall run from the time such judgment is recorded on the judgment lien docket of the clerk's office of the county or city in which land of the defendant lies.

Code 1955, § 8-355; 1962, c. 388; 1977, c. 617; 2012, c. 802; 2014, c. 330.

§ 8.01-432. Confession of judgment irrespective of suit pending.

Any person being indebted to another person, or any attorney-in-fact pursuant to a power of attorney, may at any time confess judgment in the clerk's office of any circuit court in this Commonwealth, whether a suit, motion or action be pending therefor or not, for only such principal and interest as his creditor may be willing to accept a judgment for, which judgment, when so confessed, shall be forthwith entered of record by the clerk in whose office it is confessed, in the proper order book of his court. Such judgment shall be as final and as binding as though confessed in open court or rendered by the court, subject to the control of the court in the clerk's office of which the same shall have been confessed.

Code 1950, § 8-356; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-433. Setting aside judgments confessed under § 8.01-432.

Any judgment confessed under the provisions of § 8.01-432 may be set aside or reduced upon motion of the judgment debtor made within twenty-one days following notice to him that such judgment has been entered against him, and after twenty-one days notice to the judgment creditor or creditors for whom the judgment was confessed, on any ground which would have been an adequate defense or setoff in an action at law instituted upon the judgment creditor's note, bond or other evidence of debt upon which such judgment was confessed. Whenever any such judgment is set aside or modified the case shall be placed on the trial docket of the court, and the proceedings thereon shall thereafter be the same as if an action at law had been instituted upon the bond, note or other evidence of debt upon which judgment was confessed. After such case is so docketed the court shall make such order as to the pleadings, future proceedings and costs as to the court may seem just.

Code 1950, § 8-357; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-433.1. Notice of confession of judgment provision.

No judgment shall be confessed upon a note, bond, or other evidence of debt pursuant to a confession of judgment provision contained therein which does not contain a statement typed in boldface print of not less than eight point type on its face:

IMPORTANT NOTICE

THIS INSTRUMENT CONTAINS A CONFESSION OF JUDGMENT PROVISION WHICH CONSTITUTES A WAIVER OF IMPORTANT RIGHTS YOU MAY HAVE AS A DEBTOR AND ALLOWS THE CREDITOR TO OBTAIN A JUDGMENT AGAINST YOU WITHOUT ANY FURTHER NOTICE.

This section shall only apply to notes, bonds, or other evidences of debt containing confession of judgment provisions entered into after January 1, 1993.

1992, c. 396.

§ 8.01-434. Lien of such judgments.

The clerk shall record in the proper book any judgment confessed under the provisions of § 8.01-432 and the day and hour when the same was confessed, and the lien thereof shall attach and be binding from the time such judgment is recorded on the judgment lien docket of the clerk's office of the county or city in which land of the defendant lies. If the credit was extended for personal, family or household purposes, the judgment shall not be a lien against the real estate of the obligor or the basis of obtaining execution against his personal property until the expiration of the 21-day period allowed the judgment debtor as set forth in § 8.01-433. In the event the judgment debtor files a motion or other pleading within such 21-day period, the judgment shall not be a lien against such real estate or its basis of execution against personal property until an order to that effect is entered by the court. It will be presumed that the obligation is for personal, family or household purposes if the debtor is a natural person, unless the plaintiff or someone on his behalf makes oath or makes out and files an affidavit that the obligation was not for such purposes, or the obligation for which judgment is confessed recites that it is for other purposes.

Code 1950, § 8-358; 1962, c. 388; 1970, c. 395; 1977, c. 617; 1986, c. 523; 2014, c. 330.

§ 8.01-435. Who may confess judgment.

Confession of judgment under the provisions of § 8.01-432 may be made either by the debtor himself or by his duly constituted attorney-in-fact, acting under and by virtue of a power of attorney duly executed and acknowledged by him as deeds are required to be acknowledged, before any officer or person authorized to take acknowledgments of writings to be recorded in this Commonwealth, provided, however, that any power of attorney incorporated in, and made part of, any note or bond authorizing the confession of judgment thereon against the makers and endorsers in the event of default in the payment thereof at maturity need not be acknowledged, but shall specifically name therein the attorney or attorneys or other person or persons authorized to confess such judgment and the clerk's office in which the judgment is to be confessed.

The payee, obligee, or person otherwise entitled to payment under any note or bond may appoint a substitute for any attorney-in-fact authorized to confess judgment that is specifically named in such note or bond, by specifically naming the substitute attorney-in-fact in an instrument appointing the substitute attorney-in-fact. Such instrument shall be recorded and indexed according to law in the clerk's office where judgment is to be confessed by the terms of such note or bond, and a clerk's fee for such recording shall be paid as set out in § 17.1-275. If such note or bond does not contain a notice informing the debtor that a substitute attorney-in-fact may be appointed by the payee, obligee, or person otherwise entitled to payment under the note or bond, then within 10 days after the instrument appointing the substitute attorney-in-fact is recorded, the person appointing the substitute attorney-in-fact shall send notice of the appointment by certified mail to the debtor's last known address as it appears in the records of the person appointing the substitute attorney-in-fact.

Code 1950, § 8-359; 1977, c. 617; 2012, cc. 31, 118.

§ 8.01-436. Form of confession of judgment.

On the presentation of any such power of attorney as is mentioned in § 8.01-435 by any of the persons therein named as attorney-in-fact, or on the personal appearance of the debtor and the expression by him of his desire to confess such judgment, the clerk of the court mentioned in such power of attorney, or before whom such debtor shall so appear, shall draw and require the attorney-in-fact so appearing, or the debtor, as the case may be, to sign a confession of judgment, which shall be in form substantially as follows:

"Virginia: In the clerk's office of the __________ court of the __________ of __________, I, (or we) A.B., (or A.B. and C.D., etc.) hereby acknowledged myself (or ourselves) to be justly indebted to, and do hereby confess judgment in favor of (name of creditor) in the sum of __________ dollars ($_____) with interest thereon from the __________ day of __________, two thousand __________, until paid, and the cost of this proceeding (including the attorney's fees and collection fees provided for in the instrument on which the proceeding is based) hereby waiving the benefit of my (or our) homestead exemptions as to the same, provided the instrument on which the proceeding is based carries such homestead waiver.

Given under my (or our) hand, this __________ day of __________, two thousand and __________

(Signatures)

or, if by an attorney-in-fact, signatures and seals of debtors,

By ____________________

his (or their) attorney-in-fact."

Code 1950, § 8-360; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-437. Endorsement of clerk thereon.

When a judgment is so confessed, the clerk shall endorse upon such confession, or attach thereto, his certificate in manner and form substantially as follows:

"Virginia: In the clerk's office of the __________ court of the __________ of __________.

The foregoing (or attached) judgment was duly confessed before me in my said office on the __________ day of __________, two thousand and __________, at __________ o'clock __________ a.m., p.m. and has been duly entered of record in common-law order book number __________, page __________.

Teste:

____________________ clerk."

Code 1950, § 8-361; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-438. When judgment confessed by attorney-in-fact copy to be served on judgment debtor.

If a judgment is confessed by an attorney-in-fact, it shall be the duty of the clerk within ten days from the entry thereof to cause to be served upon the judgment debtor a certified copy of the order so entered in the common-law order book, to which order shall be appended a notice setting forth the provisions of § 8.01-433. The officer who serves the order shall make return thereof within ten days after service to the clerk. The clerk shall promptly file the order with the papers in the case. The failure to serve a copy of the order within sixty days from the date of entry thereof shall render the judgment void as to any debtor not so served.

Service of a copy of the order on a nonresident judgment debtor by an officer of the county or city of his residence, authorized by law to serve processes therein, or by the clerk of the court sending a copy of the order by registered or certified mail to such nonresident judgment debtor at his last known post-office address and the filing of a certificate with the papers in the case showing that such has been done or of a receipt showing the receipt of such letter by such nonresident judgment debtor, shall be deemed sufficient service thereof for the purposes of this section.

Code 1950, § 8-362; 1972, c. 611; 1976, c. 617; 1988, c. 420.

§ 8.01-439. Filing of records by clerk.

Such confession and clerk's certificate, together with the power of attorney if the confession be by an attorney-in-fact, and the note, bond or other obligation, if there be such, on which the judgment is based, shall be securely attached together by the clerk and filed by him among the records in his office.

Code 1950, § 8-363; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-440. Docketing and execution.

The clerk shall forthwith docket such judgment in the current judgment lien docket in his office and shall issue execution thereon as he may be directed by the creditor therein named, or his assigns, in the manner prescribed by law.

Code 1950, § 8-364; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-441. When judgment confessed by virtue of power of attorney invalid.

No judgment confessed in the office of the clerk of any circuit court in this Commonwealth, by virtue of a power of attorney, shall be valid, unless such power of attorney be in conformity with the provisions of this article.

Code 1950, § 8-366; 1977, c. 617.

Article 3. When There Are Several Defendants.

§ 8.01-442. In joint actions on contract plaintiff, though barred as to some, may have judgment against others.

In an action or motion, founded on contract, against two or more defendants, although the plaintiff may be barred as to one or more of them, yet he may have judgment against any other or others of the defendants, against whom he is not so barred.

Code 1950, § 8-367; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-443. Joint wrongdoers; effect of judgment against one.

A judgment against one of several joint wrongdoers shall not bar the prosecution of an action against any or all the others, but the injured party may bring separate actions against the wrongdoers and proceed to judgment in each, or, if sued jointly, he may proceed to judgment against them successively until judgment has been rendered against, or the cause has been otherwise disposed of as to, all of the defendants, and no bar shall arise as to any of them by reason of a judgment against another, or others, until the judgment has been satisfied. If there be a judgment against one or more joint wrongdoers, the full satisfaction of such judgment accepted as such by the plaintiff shall be a discharge of all joint wrongdoers, except as to the costs; provided, however, this section shall have no effect on the right of contribution between joint wrongdoers as set out in § 8.01-34.

Code 1950, § 8-368; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-444. Where new parties added; if some not liable, how judgment entered.

If it shall appear at the trial that all the original defendants are liable, but that one or more of the other persons added under the provisions of § 8.01-5 are not liable, the plaintiff shall be entitled to judgment, or to verdict and judgment, as the case may be, against the defendants who appear liable, and such as are not liable shall have judgment and recover costs as against the plaintiff, who shall be allowed the same as costs against the defendants who cause them to be made parties.

Code 1950, § 8-369; 1977, c. 617.

Article 4. Distinction Between Term and Vacation Abolished.

§ 8.01-445. Distinction between term and vacation abolished; effect of time.

The distinction of what a court may do in term as opposed to vacation is hereby abolished. The period of time provided for the doing of any act or the taking of any proceeding is not affected or limited by the continued existence or expiration of a term of court. The continued existence or expiration of a term of court in no way affects the power of a court to do any act or take any proceeding in any civil action which has been pending before it.

1977, c. 617.

Article 5. Keeping of Docket Books; Execution Thereon; Disposal of Exhibits.

§ 8.01-446. Clerks to keep judgment dockets; what judgments to be docketed therein.

The clerk of each court of every circuit shall keep in his office, in a well-bound book, or by microphotographic or electronic process allowed by § 17.1-240, a judgment docket, in which he shall docket, without delay, any judgment for a specific amount of money rendered in his court, and shall likewise docket without delay any judgment for a specific amount of money rendered in this Commonwealth by any other court of this Commonwealth or federal court, when he shall be required so to do by any person interested, on such person delivering to him an authenticated legible abstract of it and also upon the request of any person interested therein, any such judgment rendered by a district court judge whose book has been filed in his office under the provisions of Title 16.1 or of which a legible abstract is delivered to him certified by the district court judge who rendered it; provided, that judgments docketed in the clerk's office of the Circuit Court of the City of Williamsburg and the County of James City shall be docketed and indexed in one book. A specific judgment for money shall state that it is a judgment for money in a specific amount in favor of a named party, against a named party, with that party's address, if known, and it shall further state the time from which the judgment bears interest. An order of restitution docketed pursuant to § 19.2-305.2 shall have the same force and effect as a specific judgment for money and shall state that it is an order of restitution in a specific amount in favor of a named party, against a named party, with that party's address, if known, and it shall further state the time from which the judgment bears interest. If the clerk determines that an abstract is not legible, the clerk shall refuse to record it and shall return it to the person who tendered the abstract for recording. No judgment for assessments described in subsection A of § 17.1-275.5 or for the fees provided for by § 17.1-275.1, 17.1-275.2, 17.1-275.3, 17.1-275.4, 17.1-275.7, 17.1-275.8, 17.1-275.9, 17.1-275.10, 17.1-275.11, 17.1-275.11:1, or 17.1-275.12 or for all other fines and costs shall be recorded as a judgment in favor of the Commonwealth if such fees, assessments, fines, or costs have been fully paid by the defendant by the date of sentencing by the court.

Code 1950, § 8-373; 1952, c. 438; 1962, c. 568; 1973, c. 544; 1975, cc. 182, 575; 1977, c. 617; 1993, c. 412; 1994, c. 538; 1995, c. 434; 1997, c. 579; 2008, cc. 823, 833; 2013, c. 263; 2015, c. 641.

§ 8.01-446.1. Keeping of docket books by clerk of court using micrographic process; form.

Whenever judgments are docketed in the judgment lien book in the office of the clerk of the circuit court and are recorded by a procedural micrographic process as provided in § 17.1-240, or by any other method or process which renders impractical or impossible the subsequent entry of notations upon the docketed judgment, an appropriate certificate of assignment, release, partial release, certified copy of any order, or other separate instrument setting forth the necessary information as provided in this section shall be recorded and indexed according to law. Such instrument shall conform substantially with the following form:

ORIGINAL BOOK # _____ PAGE _____ (or instrument no)

ORIGINAL DATE DOCKETED: ____________________

TYPE OF FILING (Check One)

( ) Assignment

( ) Release

( ) Partial Release

( ) Credit(s)

( ) Additional Debtor(s)

( ) New Name of Debtor

Date of Judgment: ____________________

Amount of Judgment: ____________________

Plaintiff(s): ________________________________________

Defendant(s): ________________________________________

Assignee (If assignment): ________________________________________

Payments (If credits): AMOUNT __________ DATE PAID __________

(Complete below if additional debtor or change of name of debtor)

Debtor: ________________________________________

Social Security Number of Debtor (Last Four Digits) (If known): __________

Given under my hand this __________ day of __________, __________

________________________________________
(Plaintiff) (Attorney for Plaintiff)
(Authorized Agent for Plaintiff)

Any judgment creditor who knowingly gives false information upon such certificate made under this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

1985, c. 48; 2008, cc. 823, 833.

§ 8.01-447. Docketing of judgments and decrees of United States courts.

Judgments and decrees rendered in the circuit court of appeals or a district court of the United States within this Commonwealth may be docketed and indexed in the clerks' offices of courts of this Commonwealth in the same manner and under the same rules and requirements of law as judgments and decrees of courts in this Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 8-375; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-448. Attorney General, etc., to have judgments in favor of Commonwealth docketed.

Whenever a judgment is recovered in favor of the Commonwealth, it shall be the duty of the Attorney General or other attorney representing the Commonwealth, to cause such judgment to be docketed in all counties and cities wherein there is any real estate owned by any person against whom the judgment is recovered.

Code 1950, § 8-376; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-449. How judgments are docketed.

A. The judgment docket required by § 8.01-446 may be kept in a well-bound book, or any other media permitted by § 17.1-240. The date and time of docketing shall be recorded with each judgment docketed. The clerk of the circuit court of any county using card files on July 1, 1975, may continue to use the card file system. The docketing may be done by copying the wording of the judgment order verbatim or by abstracting the information therefrom into a book or into fixed fields of an electronic data storage system. Where a procedural microphotographic system is used, the docketing may be done by recording and storing a retrievable image of the judgment order, judgment abstract, or other source document such as a certificate of assignment or release. Where an electronic imaging system is used, the document image shall be stored in a data format which permits recall of the image. Any judgment docketed pursuant to this subsection shall contain the information required by subsection B.

B. Where a well-bound book is used for the judgment docket there shall be stated in separate columns (i) the date and amount of the judgment, (ii) the time from which it bears interest, (iii) the costs, (iv) the full names of all the parties thereto, including the address, date of birth and the last four digits of the social security number, if known, of each party against whom judgment is rendered, (v) the alternative value of any specific property recovered by it, (vi) the date and the time of docketing it, (vii) the amount and date of any credits thereon, (viii) the court by which it was rendered and the case number, and (ix) when paid off or discharged in whole or in part, the time of payment or discharge and by whom made when there is more than one defendant. And in case of a judgment or decree by confession, the clerk shall also enter in such docket the time of day at which the same was confessed, or at which the same was received in his office to be entered of record. There shall also be shown on such book the name of the plaintiff's attorney, if any.

C. Error or omission in the entry of the address or addresses or the social security number or numbers of each party against whom judgment is rendered shall in no way affect the validity, finality or priority of the judgment docketed.

D. Beginning July 1, 2012, any judgment made available to subscribers via secure remote access pursuant to § 17.1-294 shall contain only the last four digits of the social security number of any party. However, the information otherwise required in the judgment docket pursuant to this section shall be provided.

E. The attorney or party who prepares or submits the judgment for recordation has the responsibility for ensuring that only the last four digits of the social security number are included in the judgment prior to the instrument's being submitted for recordation. The clerk has the authority to reject any judgment that does not comply with the provisions of this section.

Code 1950, § 8-377; 1973, c. 544; 1977, c. 617; 1982, c. 405; 1985, c. 171; 1988, c. 420; 1996, c. 427; 1997, c. 579; 2007, cc. 548, 626; 2008, cc. 823, 833; 2010, c. 430.

§ 8.01-450. How indexed.

Every judgment shall, as soon as it is docketed, be indexed by the clerk in the name of each defendant, as required by § 17.1-249, and shall not be regarded as docketed as to any defendant in whose name it is not so indexed. The clerk may maintain such index on computer, word processor, microfilm, microfiche, or other micrographic process.

Code 1950, § 8-378; 1977, c. 617; 1985, c. 171.

§ 8.01-451. Judgments to be docketed and indexed in new names of judgment debtors; how execution may thereafter issue.

Whenever there is a judgment docketed and indexed, as required by § 17.1-249, and thereafter a judgment debtor whose name is so recorded changes his name, whether by marriage, court order, by a voluntary assumption of a new name or otherwise, the clerk of the court in which the judgment was obtained, upon satisfactory proof that the judgment debtor has acquired a new name, shall docket and index the judgment in the new name. Execution may thereafter issue against the judgment debtor in the prior name, the new name, or both. The clerk may require the submission by any party interested in the judgment or by his duly authorized attorney or agent of a form similar to that set out in § 8.01-446.1 indicating that the judgment debtor has acquired a new name, and stating the new name. Such form shall constitute satisfactory proof of the new name. This section shall apply to all judgments obtained prior or subsequent to the enactment hereof.

Code 1950, § 8-378.1; 1950, p. 440; 1977, c. 617; 1998, c. 639.

§ 8.01-452. Entry of assignment of judgment on judgment lien docket.

Whenever there shall be an assignment of a judgment, such assignment must be in writing, showing the date thereof, the name of the assignor and assignee, the amount of the judgment, and when and by what court granted, and either acknowledged as are deeds for recordation in the clerks' offices of circuit courts in the Commonwealth, or signed by the assignor, attested by two witnesses. Such assignment shall be recorded in a separate instrument referencing the page of the book where same is docketed, by the judgment creditor or his attorney of record. When such assignment is docketed as herein provided, further executions shall be issued in the name of the assignee as the plaintiff in the case.

Code 1950, § 8-379; 1977, c. 617; 2014, c. 330.

§ 8.01-452.1. Disposal of exhibits in civil cases.

A clerk of court, after sixty days have elapsed from the entry of judgment in a civil case or, if the civil case is appealed or notice of appeal is pending or the case is being reheard, when the appeal or rehearing is concluded, may dispose of or donate any exhibits filed in the case and in his possession after notifying the owner or his attorney by first-class mail and after twenty-one days from the mailing of the notice to the owner or attorney unless the owner or attorney requests the return of the exhibits.

1981, c. 312; 1992, c. 57; 1995, c. 13; 1997, c. 135; 1998, c. 886.

Article 6. Satisfaction.

§ 8.01-453. When and how payment or discharge entered on judgment docket.

The fact of satisfaction of any judgment so docketed, and if there is more than one defendant, by which defendant it was satisfied, shall be entered by the clerk in whose office the judgment is docketed whenever it appears from a certificate of the clerk of the court in which the judgment was rendered that the judgment has been satisfied or upon the direction, in writing, of the judgment creditor or his duly authorized attorney or other agent. However, the judgment creditor may record an instrument, upon payment of the fees for recordation of each instrument pursuant to § 17.1-275, releasing the lien of any judgment so docketed as against one or more parcels of real property, even when full satisfaction of the judgment has not been made and entered by the clerk.

Code 1950, § 8-380; 1977, c. 617; 1979, c. 192; 1986, c. 276; 1988, c. 420; 2015, c. 631; 2016, c. 482.

§ 8.01-454. Judgment, when satisfied, to be so noted by creditor.

In all cases in which satisfaction of any judgment so docketed is made, which is not required to be certified to the clerk under § 8.01-455, it shall be the duty of the judgment creditor, himself, or by his agent or attorney, to cause such satisfaction by the defendant, and if there is more than one defendant, by which defendant it was satisfied, to be entered within 30 days after the same is made, on such judgment docket. If the judgment has not been docketed, then the entry shall be made on the execution book in the office of the clerk from which the execution issued. For any failure to do so within 90 days, or after 10 days' notice to do so by the judgment debtor or his agent or attorney, the judgment creditor shall be liable to a fine of $100 and shall pay the filing cost of the release. The entry of satisfaction shall be signed by the creditor or his duly authorized attorney or other agent and be attested by the clerk in whose office the judgment is docketed, or when not docketed, by the clerk from whose office the execution issued; however, the cost of the release shall be paid by the judgment debtor. For any money judgment marked as satisfied pursuant to this section, nothing herein shall satisfy an unexecuted order of possession entered pursuant to § 8.01-126.

Code 1950, § 8-382; 1977, c. 617; 1988, c. 420; 2014, c. 274; 2015, cc. 547, 553, 631.

§ 8.01-455. Court, on motion of defendant, etc., may have payment of judgment entered.

A. A defendant in any judgment, his heirs or personal representatives, may, on motion, after ten days' notice thereof to the plaintiff in such judgment, or his assignee, or if he be dead, to his personal representative, or if he be a nonresident, to his attorney, if he have one, apply to the court in which the judgment was rendered, to have the same marked satisfied, and upon proof that the judgment has been paid off or discharged, such court shall order such satisfaction to be recorded in the judgment docket book together with a separate instrument or order discharging the judgment and referencing the judgment docket book and page where the original judgment was entered, and a certificate of such order to be made to the clerk of the court in which such judgment is required by § 8.01-446 to be docketed, and the clerk of such court shall immediately, upon the receipt of such certificate, enter the same in the judgment docket book where such judgment is docketed. If the plaintiff be a nonresident and have no attorney of record residing in this Commonwealth, the notice may be published and posted as an order of publication is required to be published and posted under §§ 8.01-316 and 8.01-317. Upon a like motion and similar proceeding, the court may order that a separate instrument or order be recorded to reflect that a judgment has been "discharged in bankruptcy" for any judgment that may be shown to have been so discharged.

B. The cost of such proceedings, including reasonable attorney fees, may be ordered to be paid by the plaintiff.

Code 1950, § 8-383; 1977, c. 617; 2014, c. 330.

§ 8.01-456. Satisfaction of judgment when judgment creditor cannot be located.

Whenever a judgment debtor or anyone for him or any party liable on the judgment wishes to pay off and discharge a judgment, of record in any clerk's office in this Commonwealth, when the judgment creditor cannot be located, he may do so by paying into the court having jurisdiction over such judgment an amount sufficient to pay the principal, interest, and all costs due thereupon, together with the cost of entering necessary orders, and other service attendant upon the proceeding herein provided for, and satisfaction upon such judgment. Upon such payment, the court, by an order entered of record shall direct the clerk to deposit the same at interest in any bank which is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and is designated in such order; to file evidence of such deposit in the office of the clerk in an appropriate file and shall be payable to the court entering the order for the benefit of the judgment creditor; and to enter upon the judgment docket, where the judgment is docketed, the date of such deposit, the date of the entry of the order of the court receiving same, referring to the number and page of the order book in which it is entered.

The judgment creditor or his attorney may have the money, so paid, to which he is entitled, upon application to the court therefor whenever it may appear to the court that it should be paid to him.

From and after the time of such payment, into the court, as aforesaid, the property of the defendant shall be free and clear of any lien created by any such judgment, or any execution issued thereupon.

Code 1950, § 8-384; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-457. Marking satisfied judgments for Commonwealth; payment by third parties releasing recognizances.

It shall be the duty of the clerks of the circuit courts of this Commonwealth, upon the payment of any judgment in favor of the Commonwealth by any person or upon the release of any recognizance by court order, to mark the same satisfied upon the judgment lien docket at every place such judgment or recognizance, as the case may be, shall have been recorded upon such lien docket. In marking such recognizance satisfied it shall be the duty of such clerk to refer by marginal reference to the court order, if any, releasing or discharging such recognizance.

Code 1950, § 8-385; 1977, c. 617; 1986, c. 132.

Article 7. Lien and Enforcement Thereof.

§ 8.01-458. From what time judgment to be a lien on real estate; docketing revived judgment.

Every judgment for money rendered in this Commonwealth by any state or federal court or by confession of judgment, as provided by law, shall be a lien on all the real estate of or to which the defendant in the judgment is or becomes possessed or entitled, from the time such judgment is recorded on the judgment lien docket of the clerk's office of the county or city where such land is situated. Any judgment or decree properly docketed under the provisions of this section shall, if the real estate subject to the lien of such judgment has been annexed to or merged with an adjoining city subsequent to such docketing, be deemed to have been docketed in the proper clerk's office of such city.

Code 1950, § 8-386; 1954, c. 333; 1960, c. 466; 1964, c. 309; 1977, c. 617; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 486.

§ 8.01-459. Priority of judgments.

Judgments against the same person shall, as among themselves, attach to his real estate, and be payable thereout in the order of the priority of the lien of such judgments, respectively.

Code 1950, § 8-387; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-460. Decree for support and maintenance of spouse or infant children of parties as lien on real estate.

A decree, order or judgment for support and maintenance of a spouse or of infant children of the parties payable in future installments or a monetary award for future installments as provided for in § 20-107.3, shall be a lien upon such real estate of the obligor as the court shall, from time to time, designate by order or decree. An order after reasonable notice to the obligor adjudicating that the obligor is delinquent, shall be a lien on the obligor's real estate. Liens under this section shall arise when duly docketed in the manner prescribed for the docketing of other judgments for money; however, no such decree, order or judgment for support and maintenance or for a monetary award in accordance with § 20-107.3 shall be docketed unless so ordered by the court in such decree, order or judgment. On petition by any interested person and after reasonable notice to the obligee, the court in which the obligor was adjudicated delinquent may order the release or other modification of such lien.

The lien may also be released upon agreement of all persons for whom support and maintenance is ordered under the decree, order or judgment, provided all such persons are sui juris. The clerk shall note the release on the record upon receipt of an affidavit from all the obligees stating that (i) all the obligees are sui juris and (ii) they agreed to the release of the lien on specified real property. Any lien created pursuant to this section shall expire upon the support obligation being paid in full by the obligor. The clerk may release such liens upon receipt of an affidavit of all the obligees that such support obligation has been paid in full, or upon an order or decree of a court of competent jurisdiction.

Code 1950, § 8-388; 1977, c. 617; 1979, c. 496; 1985, c. 529; 1989, c. 8.

§ 8.01-461. Abstracts of judgments.

An abstract of any judgment shall, upon request to the clerk of the court wherein the judgment is rendered, be granted to any person interested immediately upon its rendition, subject to the future action of the court rendering the same.

Code 1950, § 8-389; 1977, c. 617; 1982, c. 105.

§ 8.01-462. Jurisdiction of equity to enforce lien of judgment; when it may decree sale.

Jurisdiction to enforce the lien of a judgment shall be in equity. If it appear to the court that the rents and profits of all real estate subject to the lien will not satisfy the judgment in five years, the court may decree such real estate, or any part thereof, to be sold, and the proceeds applied to the discharge of the judgment.

Code 1950, § 8-391; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-463. Enforcement of lien when judgment does not exceed $25,000.

If the amount of the judgment does not exceed $25,000, exclusive of interest and costs, no bill to enforce the lien, pursuant to § 8.01-462, thereof shall be entertained if the real estate is the judgment debtor's primary residence.

Code 1950, § 8-392; 1977, c. 617; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 91, 92.

§ 8.01-464. Order of liability between alienees of different parts of estate.

When the real estate liable to the lien of a judgment is more than sufficient to satisfy the same, and it, or any part of it, has been aliened, as among the alienees for value, that which was aliened last, shall, in equity, be first liable, and so on with other successive alienations, until the whole judgment is satisfied. And as among alienees who are volunteers under such judgment debtor, the same rule as to the order of liability shall prevail; but as among alienees for value and volunteers, the lands aliened to the latter shall be subjected before the lands aliened to the former are resorted to; and, in either case, any part of such real estate retained by the debtor shall be first liable to the satisfaction of the judgment. An alienee for value, however, from a volunteer shall occupy the same position that he would have occupied had he purchased from the debtor at the time he purchased from the voluntary donee.

Code 1950, § 8-395; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-465. Chapter embraces recognizances and bonds having force of judgment.

The foregoing sections of this chapter, so far as they relate to the docketing of judgments, the entering of satisfaction thereof, and the liens of judgments and enforcement of such liens, shall be construed as embracing recognizances, and bonds having the force of a judgment.

Code 1950, § 8-398; 1977, c. 617.