Arizona’s Judgment Validity and Renewal Deadline Extended from Five to Ten Years

Civil judgments have expiration dates. But new legislation in Arizona has extended the timetable for judgment creditors and clarified that all judgments in effect as of August 3, 2018 will remain valid for a period of ten years before requiring renewal.

Prior to legislative amendments enacted in 2018, Arizona judgments stayed valid for just five years, though they could be renewed for successive five-year intervals. So if your judgment was entered on January 1, 2010, it would have expired on January 1, 2015 unless renewed.

The 2018 amendments doubled the time limitations in Arizona’s judgment validity and renewal statutes. Beginning August 3, 2018, the former five-year judgment renewal and validity period was extended to ten years. So if your judgment was entered on August 3, 2018, it will expire on August 3, 2028 unless renewed.

However, what about a judgment entered on August 2, 2018?

Last year’s amendments did not clearly indicate whether the new ten-year period would apply to all judgments in existence as of August 3, 2018, or only to judgments entered on or after that date. We advised clients that, to be safe, they should renew judgments entered prior to August 3, 2018 as if the five-year renewal schedule still applied.

The recently enacted Arizona Senate Bill 1309 resolves this uncertainty. The new legislation clarifies that all civil judgments in effect as of August 3, 2018 remain valid and effective for a period of ten years. No, the new legislation will not revive your judgment if it expired before August 3, 2018. However, a ten-year renewal schedule now applies if your judgment was entered:

  • On or after August 3, 2013; or
  • On or before August 2, 2013, and renewed on or before August 2, 2018.

If you have questions concerning the renewal or enforcement of an existing judgment, or Arizona’s judgment validity and renewal statutes, please contact Steven Plitt at 602-322-4000.