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Ironwood Commons Cmty. Homeowners Ass’n, Inc. v. Randall - 4/4/2019

Arizona Court of Appeals Division One holds that an affidavit of judgment renewal may be filed in the superior court of the county in which the judgment was docketed, even if that is not the county in which the judgment originated.

A Pinal County justice court entered a money judgment in favor of a homeowners association.  The homeowners association filed a transcript of the judgment in Maricopa County superior court, where it was then docketed.  Years later, to prevent the judgment from lapsing, the homeowners association filed an affidavit of judgment renewal in Maricopa County superior court.  The homeowners association then applied for a writ of garnishment, which the superior court granted.

The judgment debtor moved to quash the writ, arguing that the judgment had lapsed because the affidavit of judgment renewal had been filed in the wrong court.  The debtor contended that the affidavit of renewal should have been filed in Pinal County superior court because the judgment originated in Pinal County.  The superior court rejected this argument, and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

By statute, a transcript of a justice court judgment may be filed with the “clerk of the superior court,” and from that point on, “that judgment shall be deemed the judgment of the superior court.”  A.R.S. § 33-962(A).  Further, a money judgment of a superior court, “whether originally rendered by it or entered on a transcript of judgment from another court,” may be renewed by filing an affidavit of renewal.  A.R.S. § 12-1612(A).  Nothing in these statutes requires that an affidavit of renewal be filed in the superior court of the county in which the judgment originated, as opposed to the superior court of the county in which the judgment was docketed.

The result might differ in cases involving an attempt to levy or sell a judgment debtor’s real property.  By statute, a justice court judgment cannot force the levy or sale of an interest in real property unless a transcript of the judgment is filed in the “superior court of the county where the judgment was given.”  A.R.S. § 22-246.  But that is not this case.

Judge Brown delivered the opinion; Presiding Judge Jones and Judge Thompson joined.

Posted by: Josh Whitaker

Posted On: 4/12/2019