How to Prepare an Abstract of Judgment in California
Preparing an Abstract of Judgment, Civil and Small Claims (EJ-001) is the first step a judgment creditor must take in order to place a lien on a judgment debtor's real property or a judgment debtor's potential recovery in a pending lawsuit. Placing a lien gives a creditor the right to be paid from the proceeds of a sale of the debtor's real property or from the debtor's monetary award in another lawsuit. For information on how to foreclose upon a judgment debtor's real property or place a lien on a lawsuit the debtor has against someone else, visit the California Courts' Self-Help Website at http://www.courts.ca.gov/ 11190.htm.
Once you have completed the Abstract of Judgment, Civil and Small Claims (Form EJ-001), you must take the form to the Superior Court that issued the judgment, so that the court clerk can certify the document. You will then need to take the certified Abstract of Judgment, Civil and Small Claims (EJ-001) to the County Recorder's office, which will record the document. After recording, you have a lien against the property.
The Judicial Council form commonly used in this procedure is:
Click here to download this Guide, with step-by-step instructions, including sample forms:
Abstract of Judgment Step by Step Guide
updated 11/13 mpj/en