Lewis v. DebordAnnotate this Case
The Lewises obtained a default money judgment against the MacKeans and recorded their judgment, attempting to create a lien on the MacKeans’ real property. Neither the initial recording nor the renewal affidavit subsequently filed by the MacKeans was accompanied by a separate information statement as required by Ariz. Rev. Stat. 33-961(C) and 33-967(A). The Debords, the defendants in this case, later bought the property. One month later, the Lewises attempted to foreclose their lien against the property. The trial court entered summary judgment for the Debords, concluding that the Lewises could not execute against the property due to their failure to file an information statement, which rendered their judgment lien invalid. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) failing to attach an information statement to a certified copy of the judgment does not invalidate an otherwise valid lien, but instead, the judgment lien lacks priority against competing creditors who record liens against the property before the information statement is filed; and (2) because the Debords had constructive notice of the certified judgment that the Lewises recorded, the Debords took the property subject to the lien, and the Lewises’ failure to file an information statement did not preclude them from executing against the property.