Tualatin, OR asked in Small Claims for Oregon

Q: Do I have to pay for the satisfaction of judgement paperwork to be notarized for the person who sued me?

I was involved in a small claims court case. There was a judgement filed against me. After 2 years I finally had the money to send them in full with interest. I sent them a cashiers check, along with a prestamped envelope to send back to me so I could deliver it to the court. They mailed it back to me but did not have it notarized. I sent them an email explaining that and that their bank should be able to do it for free. They emailed stating there would be a charge. I called the courthouse to see what options could be free to try to make it easier for them and hopefully me, I relayed via email what the court said. They emailed stating because of covid they wouldn’t be filing at the courthouse themselves, and I would need to arrange a notary to go to them. I’ve met my legal responsibilities by paying them the judgement they need to notarize the paperwork to state I paid. I’m sensing they feel like they don’t have to pay to have the paperwork notarized.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: Really? You want to fight over the cost of a notary? The Covid-19 situation may impede the processing of the Satisfaction of Judgment but it is the creditor's obligation to file the satisfaction with the court. You should just stay out of it, beyond demanding that they file the document of course. It is the creditor's legal duty to file a satisfaction of judgment document (marked as being in full or only partial) upon the debtor's request and to provide the debtor with a copy when filed. See ORS 18,225(2)(a). Be sure to make the demand in a signed, dated, writing and keep a copy. If you do not receive a copy of such a Satisfaction of Judgment declaration, you can file a motion with the court outlining your attempts to get the creditor to do it and asking the court to enter a complete satisfaction instead. IF you ask the court, and the court finds that the creditor willfully failed to enter the satisfaction document, it may award you a Judgment for your costs and reasonable attorney's fees incurred in having to bring the motion. See ORS 18.235(8). Does the creditor want to pay a few bucks for a notary if they are too lazy to get it free (most banks will do it if you have an account with them; most law offices have notaries and most real estate offices do as well) or do they want to have a Judgment for hundreds or even a thousand or more dollars against them? Most Judges, however, will NOT be happy to learn both sides are wasting their time because they are fighting over such minuscule amounts.

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