RULE 69. EXECUTION ON JUDGMENTS

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Rule 69.04: Extension of Time.

Within ten years from the entry of a judgment, the creditor whose judgment remains unsatisfied may file a motion to extend the judgment for another ten years. A copy of the motion shall be mailed by the judgment creditor to the last known address of the judgment debtor. If no response is filed by the judgment debtor within thirty days of the date the motion is filed with the clerk of court, the motion shall be granted without further notice or hearing, and an order extending the judgment shall be entered by the court. If a response is filed within thirty days of the filing date of the motion, the burden is on the judgment debtor to show why the judgment should not be extended for an additional ten years. The same procedure can be repeated within any additional ten-year period.

[Amended by order filed December 29, 2015 (replaced in its entirety); effective July 1, 2016.]

 Advisory Commission Comment [2016].

Rule 69.04 is revised to clarify that a judgment creditor must file a motion to extend a judgment, and that it is the motion which provides the judgment debtor notice and an opportunity to object. This revision eliminates the prior procedure of issuance of a show cause order by the court.

The requirement that notice is to the judgment debtor’s last known address remains unchanged as the revision provides that the motion shall be mailed to the judgment debtor’s last known address.

The revision replaces past practice of a show cause hearing. The revised procedure, subsequent to the filing of a motion by the judgment creditor, is the alternative of: (1) no hearing if the judgment debtor files no response to the motion in 30 days and the extension shall be automatically granted; or (2) if the judgment debtor files a response to the motion in 30 days, the extension is not automatically granted which provides each party an opportunity to set a hearing. If a hearing is convened, it is at that point that the revision maintains prior practice of placing the burden on the judgment debtor to show why the judgment should not be extended for an additional ten years. The Commission notes that, in most judicial districts, counsel for the judgment creditor will submit a proposed order to the trial court, unless otherwise directed by the court or by local rule.

The extension procedure set out in Rule 69.04 allows the judgment creditor to avoid having the judgment become unenforceable by operation of Section 28-3-110(a)(2), Tennessee Code Annotated. That section provides that an action on a judgment “shall be commenced within ten (10) years after the cause of action accrued.” The Commission notes, however, that Section 28-3-110 was amended effective July 1, 2014 to essentially exempt a narrow class of cases from the ten-year statute of limitation imposed by subsection (a)(2). See 2014 Tenn. Pub. Acts, ch. 596. The 2014 amendment added new subsections (b) and (c) to the statute. Subsection (b)(1) provides:

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), there is no time within which a judgment or decree of a court of record entered on or after July 1, 2014, must be acted upon in the following circumstances:

(A) The judgment is for the injury or death of a person that resulted from the judgment debtor’s criminal conduct; and

(B) The judgment debtor is convicted of a criminal offense for the conduct that resulted in the injury or death; or

(C) The civil judgment is originally an order of restitution converted to a civil judgment pursuant to § 40-35-304.

And subsection (c) of the amended statute goes on to provide that, for any still-valid judgment awarded prior to July 1, 2014 and meeting the criteria set out in subsection (b)(1), the ten-year statute of limitation imposed by subsection (a) is tolled if the judgment creditor complies with various procedural requirements. The Commission merely points out these changes to section 28-3-110 for the benefit of any litigant or attorney involved in a case falling within subsection (b) or (c).

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