How to Renew the Judgment

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Judgments are enforceable for 10 years from the date of entry of judgment.
(See California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 683.020) Opens new window

If the judgment is paid in installments, the 10 years run after each installment is due. (See California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 683.030Opens new window

The judgment may be renewed for another 10 years, and then is renewable after that.

TIP: Renew the judgment at least six (6) months before the 10 years run out.  You may need several months to locate the debtor, etc.

When the judgment is renewed, the interest that has accrued will be added to the principal amount owing. From that point on, the judgment creditor is entitled to interest on the accrued interest.

The interest is charged at 10% per year (unless the government is the judgment debtor -- it pays 7% per year).

To add the interest on the unpaid debt, file a Memorandum of Costs (Form MC-012Opens new window with the court at the same time as you file to renew the judgment. (See How is Interest Added to Unpaid Debt? for what to include.

IMPORTANT: Serve Opens new window the Memorandum of Costs (Form MC-012) on the judgment debtor BEFORE you file it with the court.

To Renew the Judgment

Step 1.
Get and fill out 2 forms: 

  • Application for and Renewal of Judgment (Form EJ-190Opens new window
  • Notice of Renewal of Judgment (Form EJ-195Opens new window

Make at least 2 copies of these forms (plus the Memorandum of Costs form, if you filled one out and already had it served on the judgment debtor).

Step 2.
File Opens new window the forms at court (EJ-190, EJ-195 and MC-012 if you filled one out and already had it served on the judgment debtor). Pay the court’s filing fee. 

 The court clerk will: 

  • Keep the original Application for and Renewal of Judgment (Form EJ-190) (and the original Memorandum of Costs (MC-012), if appropriate) and return the copies to you. 
  • Complete and return to you the original Notice of Renewal of Judgment (Form EJ-195) plus the copies.

Step 3.
Serve Opens new window copies of Forms EJ-190 and EJ-195 on the judgment debtor.

(Remember, you can not do this yourself. Ask someone to serve the forms who is at least 18 years old and not involved in the case.)  The service can be either in person or by mail. 

 Have your server fill out a Proof of Service: 

  • Use Form POS-020 Opens new window for personal service, or 
  • Use Form POS-030 Opens new window for service by mail.

Step 4.
File the Proof of Service form with the court.  Be sure to keep a copy of the documents for your own file.

NOTE 1:  The judgment debtor has 30 days to object to the renewal and may ask the court to cancel the renewal.

NOTE 2:  Once you have renewed the judgment, you may not renew it again until 5 years have passed.

NOTE 3:  All property liens must be renewed also. To learn how to do this, click on the link: 

IMPORTANT: Judgment liens on personal property end at 5 years.
This is 5 years earlier than the original small claims judgment that decided the case ends.


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