If a Court has awarded you a Final Judgment stating that someone owes you money, the following suggestions may help you collect that money. You may wish to consult an attorney if you have any questions or need additional information.
Filing the Judgment in Official Records:
Purchase a certified copy of the Final Judgment from the Clerk’s Office and have it filed in Official Records. The fee for certified copies is $1.00 per page for the copy and $2.00 to certify the document.
Record the certified copy in the Recording Division at the Sarasota County Courthouse, 2000 Main Street, Room 102. The fee for recording a document is $10.00 for the first page and $8.50 for each additional page. Once recorded, the judgment becomes a lien on real estate in this County. The judgment must contain your name and address. If the person who owes you money owns property in more than one county, recording the Final Judgment in each county will be necessary to create a lien against any property owned by the debtor in that county. Once filed, the lien is valid for five years and must be re-recorded to remain valid and enforceable.
Writ of Execution from the Sheriff:
Fifteen days after the Final Judgment has been filed in Official Records, you may request that the Clerk issue a Writ of Execution. You may take this Writ of Execution to the Sheriff’s office in the county where the defendant has personal property. Upon payment of a fee, the Sheriff will file the Writ and may have the authority to attach the goods owned by the defendant to satisfy your judgment. Please contact the Sheriff’s Department for further instructions as to cost and procedure for attaching personal property.
Satisfaction of Judgment:
Once your judgment has been paid in full, or if you have reached a compromise with the defendant, a Satisfaction of Judgment must be filed in Customer Service, Room 102 at the Sarasota County Courthouse, 2000 Main Street. In addition, the Sheriff should be notified if you have filed a Writ of Execution so that it can be canceled.
We encourage you to consult an attorney if you have any questions or need additional information about collecting a money judgment.