May 20, 2024

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5 Important Things to Know About the Consent Judgment

3 min read
5 Important Things to Know About the Consent Judgment

Parties involved in a civil lawsuit expect some sort of decision from the court. Civil decisions are known as judgments. And in this country, there are multiple types of judgments. One of the more common is the consent judgment. It represents an amicable way to settle a dispute between two parties.

If you are considering taking someone to civil court, be aware that it is possible to avoid trial. Doing so could ultimately be to your benefit in that avoiding trial can save you time, money, and aggravation. Working out a consent judgment is one way to do it. With that in mind, here are five important things to know about the consent judgment:

1. It Starts With Negotiations

A consent judgment is a judgment entered by a court after the two parties in a case negotiate a settlement that they can both live with. That being the case, a consent judgment starts with negotiations. Attorneys for both parties sit down and hash things out. Each one has his own client’s best interests at heart, but some measure of compromise is still necessary.

We often refer to successful negotiations as reaching a settlement. One party agrees to do this while another agrees to do that. In monetary cases, settlements often involve the exchange of funds in order to avoid a court-ordered monetary award. In non-monetary cases, common settlements often include actions both parties must take to settle the issue.

2. The Settlement Must Be Approved

In order for a consent judgment to be entered, a judge must look over the settlement and approve it. Approval is a formality in most cases. However, if a judge believes that a settlement is either unworkable or unfair to one side or the other, he may send the two parties back to the negotiating table. Any settlements to violate the law definitely won’t be approved.

3. It Is Legally Binding

Once a settlement has been approved and a consent judgment entered, the judgment is legally binding. Consent judgments are no different than any other types of judgments in this regard. The fact that the court did not come up with a resolution to the matter doesn’t make the proposed resolution any less valid.

Although this seems obvious, the legally binding nature of a consent judgment could come into play if one party or the other decides to not uphold its end of the bargain. Failing to abide by the terms of a consent judgment means going back to court.

4. It Changes Nothing About Collection

A consent judgment changes nothing in terms of collection, at least where monetary settlements are concerned. Collection is still the responsibility of the judgment creditor. A creditor can still send the judgment to a collection agency, like Judgment Collectors based in Utah, if the debtor does not make immediate payment.

Fortunately, this sort of thing rarely happens with consent judgments. The two parties reaching a settlement in order to get a consent judgment is normally indicative of a debtor able and willing to pay the settlement amount.

5. It Prevents Further Litigation

As long as a consent judgment is adhered to by both parties, it prevents further litigation of the same issue. In essence, a consent judgment settles the matter once and for all. Any further litigation by either party would require a new lawsuit based on a new dispute. You cannot relitigate a dispute that has already been settled with a consent judgment.

Now you know the basics of the consent judgment. It represents just one way to settle a civil dispute between parties.

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