Within the title insurance industry, especially among the Abstractors, the question of whether or not an income execution marked satisfied does or does not satisfy a judgment has been an ongoing issue. Some say yes a satisfied income execution proves a judgment is satisfied. Others say it is not proof that a judgment is fully satisfied.
The confusion stems from the fact that satisfactions of judgments and satisfactions of an income execution are closely tied. Generally in the County Clerk’s office the judgment is filed in, the county indexes include both the satisfaction of the income execution and the satisfaction of the judgment.
According to www.courts.stateny.us the answer to the ongoing question is absolutely no, an income execution that is marked satisfied does not satisfy a judgment. Only a separate document that states it is a satisfaction of judgment is a viable satisfaction.
A satisfaction of judgment is a separate document issued by a judge in the court that the judgment was first rendered, stating that the terms of the judgment, generally a monetary amount, have been met.
Income executions, also called garnishments, are a legal process through the sheriff’s department. It is a document stating that the court is attaching the judgment to the defendant’s wages. A satisfaction of an income execution states only that the requirements for the income execution have been satisfied, not the judgment itself.
According to the Warren County Clerk’s office and the Washington County Clerk’s office a judgment is considered open of record until a document from a judge is filed with the Clerk’s office stating that the judgment is satisfied.
Whether or not a judgment is satisfied of record or not can be confusing. Only accepting a satisfaction of judgment as proof makes for a clear answer.