Filing Foreign Judgment in Mississippi Did Not Renew Judgement for Purposes of Mississippi Statute of Limitations on Enforcing Judgments

Will Realty, LLC v. Isaacs, 296 So. 3d 80 (Miss. 2020). In 2009, Mainsource Bank obtained a judgment against Mark and Sarah Isaacs in Kentucky. The bank assigned the judgment to Will Realty, LLC in 2010. In 2019, Will Realty enrolled the judgment in Hancock County and filed writs of garnishment against banks and employers of Sarah Isaacs. The Isaacses filed an action in the Hancock County Circuit Court asserting that the 2009 judgment was void. The circuit court held that the judgment was barred by Mississippi’s seven-year statute on enforcing judgements in Miss. Code Ann. Section 15-1-45. On appeal by Will Realty, the Mississippi Supreme Court, in an opinion by Chief Justice Randolph, affirmed. The seven-year statute on enforcing foreign judgments can be extended if the foreign judgment is renewed in the other state. Will Realty argued that under Kentucky law, the statute of limitations on enforcing judgments is calculated from the last act of the judgment creditor enforcing the judgment, including garnishment proceedings; and that the filing of the judgment in Hancock County and the issuance of the garnishments served to extend the statute of limitations for enforcing the judgments. Chief Justice Randolph wrote that extending the statute of limitations for enforcing the judgment under Kentucky law had nothing to do with renewal of the judgment.

Note 1: Based on the opinion, the judgment creditor was conflating two different concepts, the statute of limitations for enforcing a judgment and renewing the judgment.

Note 2: The Mississippi Supreme Court relied in part on a decision of the Court of Appeals in White v. Taylor, 281 So. 3d 1188 (Miss. 2019), which was discussed in the June 2020 edition of the Newsletter. In White, the judgment creditor argued that a hearing on Florida about a judgment rendered in Florida and filed in Mississippi served to renew the Florida judgment, but the Court of Appeals found that the hearing was only a post-judgment proceeding and not a renewal of the judgment in Florida. These cases and other cases discussed in these cases suggest that Mississippi courts are inclined to strictly enforce the seven-year statute of limitations on enforcing foreign judgments and are not receptive to creative and nuanced arguments about why the statute does not apply.

To learn more about the co-authors, Rod Clement and Lindy Brown, visit Rod’s member profile or firm profile or Lindy’s firm profile.