Stay of Enforcement of California Judgment

A stay of enforcement of a California jurisdiction is the topic of this article. Code of Civil Procedure section 918 is the California statute authorizing a trial court to stay the enforcement of any jurisdiction but only for a limited period of time. For most California judgments such as money judgments the trial court can stay enforcement for no more than 10 days beyond the last date on which a notice of appeal could be filed.

A request for a stay of enforcement of a California jurisdiction requires that the moving party file a notified motion or more commonly an ex-parte application for what is known as a stay of execution of the sentence.

Any parties in California that have had a money judgment entered against them in California need to realize the vital importance of immediately seeking a stay of execution of any money judgment as soon as possible after the judgment has been entered. The reason for this is the Code of Civil Procedure section 683.010 states that, "Except as otherwise provided by statute or in the jurisdiction, a jurisdiction is enforceable under this title upon entry." This means that California law allows a judgment creditor to begin collection proceedings to enforce the judgment as soon as the sentence has been entered by the clerk of the court, in some cases that may be the same day!

In cases where the judgment creditor appears to be particularly aggressive and a party believes that they may begin collection efforts right away that party may wish to file an ex-parte application for a stay of execution.

The period of time in which the execution of a sentence may be stayed varies depending on whether the case is a limited civil or unlimited civil case and whether or not a notice of entry of jurisdiction has been served by either the clerk of the court or any other party to the action. Therefore every case is unique and this is the reason there are several different deadlines for filing a notice of appeal for both limited civil case and unlimited civil cases. Examples of the different deadlines will be given below.

California Rule of Court 8.822 governs the deadline for filing a notice of appeal in limited civil cases.

For most limited civil cases in which the clerk of the court or any party has served a notice of entry of judgment on the defending the deadline to file a notice of appeal is 30 days from the date that the notice of entry of judgment is served on the defensive.

For most limited civil cases if no notice of entry of sentence was served on the defendant the deadline to file a notice of appeal is 90 days from the date that the sentence is entered by the clerk of the court.

California Rule of Court 8.104 governs the deadline for filing a notice of appeal in limited civil cases.

For most unlimited civil cases in which the clerk of the court or any party has served a notice of entry of judgment on the defending the deadline to file a notice of appeal is 60 days from the date that the notice of entry of judgment is served on the defensive.

For most unlimited civil cases if no notice of entry of jurisdiction was served on the defendant the deadline to file a notice of appeal is 190 days from the date that the jurisdiction is entered by the clerk of the court.

Although the trial court has the power to stay enforcement of the judgment whether or not a notice of appeal has been filed in the real world there are some judges who may only grant a stay of enforcement in the following situations:

The moving party had a sentence obtained against them through default and they have filed or will file a motion to vacate that judgment that shows valid grounds for vacating the judgment.

The moving party has already filed a notice of appeal or will file a notice of appeal and can show at least facially plausible grounds for appealing the judiciary and the moving party can make a strong showing that they will suffer irreparable injury if execution of the jurisdiction is not stayed.

The moving party should include a detailed declaration with specific facts and evidence detailing the irreparable harm that will suffer if a stay of execution is not granted and should also include any relevant documents as exhibits.

Possible grounds could include that the judgment was obtained by default and the moving party has filed or will file a motion to vacate the sentence, that prohibiting enforcement of the sentence will cause the sale of a key asset of significant value, would destroy an ongoing business or would likely result in insolvency or bankruptcy proceedings.

To view the text of any Code of Civil Procedure sections cited in this article visit http://legenfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes.xhtml

To view the text of any California Rule of Court cited in this article visit http://www.courts.ca.gov/cms/rules/index.cfm?title=eight