2021 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 39 - Judgments, Costs, Appeals
Article 1 - Judgments
Section 39-1-6 - Money judgment; docketing; transcript of judgment; lien on real estate; supersedeas.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 39-1-6 (2021)

Any money judgment rendered in the supreme court, court of appeals, district court or metropolitan court shall be docketed by the clerk of the court and a transcript or abstract of judgment may be issued by the clerk upon request of the parties. The judgment shall be a lien on the real estate of the judgment debtor from the date of the filing of the transcript of the judgment in the office of the county clerk of the county in which the real estate is situate. Upon approval and filing of a supersedeas bond upon appeal of the cause as provided by law, the lien shall be void. Judgment shall be enforced for not more than fourteen years thereof.

History: Laws 1891, ch. 67, § 1; C.L. 1897, § 3069; Code 1915, § 3079; C.S. 1929, § 76-110; 1941 Comp., § 19-906; Laws 1949, ch. 110, § 1; 1953 Comp., § 21-9-6; Laws 1955, ch. 69, § 1; 1966, ch. 28, § 32; 1973, ch. 25, § 1; 1983, ch. 89, § 1.

ANNOTATIONS

Cross references. — For confessed judgment liens, see 39-1-14 NMSA 1978.

For foreclosure suit and sale by one holding judgment lien on real estate, see 39-4-13 to 39-4-16 NMSA 1978.

For money allowance in divorce proceeding being lien on real estate, see 40-4-13 NMSA 1978.

Judgment lien on real estate is right established by statute and did not exist at common law. Curtis Mfg. Co. v. Barela, 1966-NMSC-112, 76 N.M. 392, 415 P.2d 361.

Requirements for lien set by statute. — As the lien for a money judgment provided does not exist at common law, it operates only by reason of statute and does not become applicable until the requirements of the statute have been met. Pugh v. Heating & Plumbing Fin. Corp., 1945-NMSC-031, 49 N.M. 234, 161 P.2d 714.

Lien as right while foreclosure as remedy. — The lien created by this section authorizing recordation of a transcript of the docket thereof is a right as distinguished from a remedy, and if the remedy of foreclosure of the judgment lien prayed for in a counterclaim is barred, the lien has been extinguished. Pugh v. Heating & Plumbing Fin. Corp., 1945-NMSC-031, 49 N.M. 234, 161 P.2d 714.

Section is directory. Cannon v. First Nat'l Bank, 1930-NMSC-087, 35 N.M. 193, 291 P. 924.

Construed in pari materia. — Absence from statute of words to the effect that the judgment liens thereby created shall not bind the real estate of the judgment debtor for a longer period than the same is enforceable is not fatal to a contention that it should be read in pari materia without statute governing limitation on enforcement of mechanics' liens. Pugh v. Heating & Plumbing Fin. Corp., 1945-NMSC-031, 49 N.M. 234, 161 P.2d 714.

Existence of valid judgment is prerequisite to existence of lien. — The lien is for the amount of the judgment, secures it and provides a means for its enforcement; moreover, the lien expires with the judgment as a judgment lien is founded on the judgment from which it arises. W. States Collection Co. v. Shain, 1971-NMSC-102, 83 N.M. 203, 490 P.2d 461.

Judgment and judgment lien separate causes of action. — The judgment and the judgment lien on real estate being separate rights, they are separate causes of action. Curtis Mfg. Co. v. Barela, 1966-NMSC-112, 76 N.M. 392, 415 P.2d 361.

Divorce decree ordering future payments not "money judgment". — A divorce decree ordering future periodic payments is not a "money judgment" sufficient to create a lien; unless a provision in the decree establishes a sum certain that is due immediately and enforceable by execution against the debtor's property, no money judgment exists to which a judgment lien can attach, and there is only a promise to pay future installments which can be secured by a consensual mortgage. Carrillo v. Coors, 1995-NMCA-094, 120 N.M. 283, 901 P.2d 214.

Filing of judgment transcript becomes lien. — Where a transcript of a judgment is filed in the office of the county clerk, it thereupon becomes a lien against all real estate owned by the debtor in that county. Scheer v. Stolz, 1937-NMSC-070, 41 N.M. 585, 72 P.2d 606.

Lien exists from filing, not recording, date. — A money judgment does not carry with it a lien against the real estate of a judgment debtor, and a lien exists only from the date of filing the transcript in the office of the county clerk, and not from the date of recording. Kaseman v. Mapel, 1921-NMSC-020, 26 N.M. 639, 195 P. 799.

Where judgment not docketed no lien created. — Whether a judgment becomes a lien depends upon whether the required steps of the section are taken, and where the judgment is not docketed, but a transcript only is filed in the office of the county clerk, it does not create a lien. Breece v. Gregg, 1932-NMSC-038, 36 N.M. 246, 13 P.2d 421.

Rights of judgment lien creditor fixed when lien credited. — The rights of a judgment lien creditor are fixed by the condition of affairs as they existed when the lien was created, and are not affected by a subsequent conveyance which the debtor could not have been coerced by the courts to make. Sylvanus v. Pruett, 1932-NMSC-002, 36 N.M. 112, 9 P.2d 142.

Lien not continued after judgment becomes barred. — The lien of a money judgment does not continue after the judgment on which it is found has become barred, though the statute which provides for creation of the lien is silent as to any limitation upon such lien. Pugh v. Heating & Plumbing Fin. Corp., 1945-NMSC-031, 49 N.M. 234, 161 P.2d 714.

Real estate includes equitable interests. — Both this section and 39-4-13 NMSA 1978 broadly refer to "real estate" of the judgment debtor and, therefore, are broad enough to include equitable interests within their purview. Marks v. City of Tucumcari, 1979-NMSC-045, 93 N.M. 4, 595 P.2d 1199.

Interest retained by vendor under executory contract of sale is personalty and not real estate. Marks v. City of Tucumcari, 1979-NMSC-045, 93 N.M. 4, 595 P.2d 1199.

Debtor's interest in property to which lien attaches, when he holds equitable title under a real estate contract, is the full value of his estate in the property, not just the amount of his payments and the value of improvements. Bank of Santa Fe v. Garcia, 1985-NMCA-026, 102 N.M. 588, 698 P.2d 458.

Effect of recordation of money judgment. — Once the terms of this section have been complied with and the money judgment is recorded, a transferee of the debtor takes the property with constructive notice of the amount of the judgment and the life of the lien. Bank of Santa Fe v. Garcia, 1985-NMCA-026, 102 N.M. 588, 698 P.2d 458.

No standing in quiet title suit based on judgment lien. — A party had no standing before the court in a suit to quiet title, whose right and interest in the premises were based upon a judgment taken on a lien, acquired under this section. Security Inv. & Dev. Co. v. Capital City Bank, 1917-NMSC-018, 22 N.M. 469, 164 P. 829.

No lien attaches on bare legal title as trustee. — Where the former owner of a tract of land conveyed the property to a vendee before judgment against him had been obtained, and the vendee conveyed the property back to the vendor without consideration for the sole purpose of meeting forest service requirements relative to the transfer of grazing permits on the land, and the property was then reconveyed to the vendee, the vendor during that brief period served as trustee for the vendee and had only a bare legal title in the property to which no judgment lien under this section could attach. McCord v. Ashbaugh, 1960-NMSC-045, 67 N.M. 61, 352 P.2d 641

Judgment lien superior to claim under altered deed. — Where a grantee of land had fraudulently substituted another name as grantee in two deeds, and grantor did not discover the fraud until after his judgment lien against the intended grantee had been recorded, his lien was superior to that claimed under the altered deed. Scheer v. Stolz, 1937-NMSC-070, 41 N.M. 585, 72 P.2d 606.

Priority of purchaser at execution over subsequent judgment purchaser. — Where execution issued, not once, but four times within five years following recovery of judgment, the lien of such judgment did not become dormant although an order of revivor was procured, and purchaser at execution sale seven years after rendition of the judgment was entitled to priority over one who purchased at a special master's sale under judgment subsequently recovered and docketed. Otero v. Dietz, 1934-NMSC-084, 39 N.M. 1, 37 P.2d 1110.

Priority of mortgage lien. — A release or discharge by a mortgagee of his lien, or the surrender of the evidence thereof to the mortgagor, in consideration for a conveyance by the mortgagor of his interests in the mortgaged property, did not operate as an extinguishment of the mortgage lien as against junior or intermediate encumbrances, including liens under this section, and the mortgage lien retained its priority. Fowler v. Carter, 1967-NMSC-062, 77 N.M. 571, 425 P.2d 737.

Where other liens matter of record. — The fact that mortgagee, by examining the public records, could have learned of the existence of the plaintiffs' intervening judgment lien, before he accepted the conveyance of the mortgaged premises from the mortgagors and before he released his mortgage, did not work a merger, and did not cause mortgagee to lose his prior lien. Fowler v. Carter, 1967-NMSC-062, 77 N.M. 571, 425 P.2d 737.

Foreclosure of wife's community property to satisfy judgment lien. — A wife's interest in community property may be foreclosed to satisfy a judgment lien against the wife resulting from a tort which occurred during the marriage while she negligently operated a separately owned automobile. McDonald v. Senn, 1949-NMSC-020, 53 N.M. 198, 204 P.2d 990.

Wife's interest in community property. — The wife's interest in the community is subject to segregation in order that it may be subjected to a statutory judgment lien. McDonald v. Senn, 1949-NMSC-020, 53 N.M. 198, 204 P.2d 990.

Wife's interest in community property subject to liability for her torts. — The fact that a wife's interests in the community should be subject to liability for her torts is not precluded by reason of her husband's control and management of the community property. McDonald v. Senn, 1949-NMSC-020, 53 N.M. 198, 204 P.2d 990.

Request of plaintiff. — A money judgment must be docketed by the clerk without a request from the plaintiff, but the making of a transcript must be at the request of the plaintiff. 1920 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 20-2511.

Law reviews. — For article, "Attachment in New Mexico - Part II," see 2 Nat. Resources J. 75 (1962).

For article, "Survey of New Mexico Law, 1979-80: Property," see 11 N.M.L. Rev. 203 (1981).

Am. Jur. 2d, A.L.R. and C.J.S. references. — 46 Am. Jur. 2d Judgments § 360 et seq.

Lien of judgment on excess value of homestead, 41 A.L.R.4th 292.

Judgment lien or levy of execution on one joint tenant's share or interest as severing joint tenancy, 51 A.L.R.4th 906.

49 C.J.S. Judgments §§ 463 to 465.

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