10.08.3 Judgments: Time in Which a Judgment Lien Attaches

A judgment lien attaches to real property when the judgment has been entered and indexed in the judgment docket. I.C. § 34-55-9-2 has four requirements in order to create a judgment lien.

  1. It must be a final judgment.

    A final judgment disposes all of the parties' issues or the court enters an express entry of a final judgment as to a specific issue or claim. Ind. Trial Rules 54(B).

  2. The judgment must be for money or costs.

  3. A court that is specified in the judgment lien statute must render the judgment.

    A circuit court and other courts of record of general original jurisdiction sitting in the state of Indiana (state and federal courts) can impose a lien on real estate with a final judgment. I.C. § 34-55-9-2. Judgments of city and town courts have the same force and effect as a circuit court judgment. A judgment of a city or town court becomes a lien on real estate when a transcript of the city or town court judgment is filed with the circuit court clerk. I.C. 33-35-5-8. Judgments of county and small claims courts with limited jurisdiction become judgment liens in a similar manner as circuit court judgments. I.C. 33-30-5-9; I.C. 33-34-3-14. Foreign or out of state judgments do not become judgment liens in Indiana unless the foreign judgment is domesticated by a lawsuit to secure an Indiana judgment or a certified and sealed copy of the judgment is filed with the circuit court clerk and the judgment creditor filing the foreign judgment complies with the notice and affidavit requirements set forth in I.C. 34-54-11-1 et seq.

  4. The judgment must be entered and indexed in the judgment docket.

The acts of entering and indexing a final judgment on the judgment docket create the judgment lien. I.C. § 34-55-9 ; Muniz v. United States (1958), 126 Ind. App. 433, 155 N.E.2d 140, 156 N.E.2d 641.