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Dickey v. Fair

March 08, 2001

EMANUEL DICKEY AND SPEEDY MANAGEMENT CORPORATION, APPELLANTS
V.
MARY FAIR, APPELLEE



Before Terry, Steadman, and Ruiz, Associate Judges.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Terry, Associate Judge

Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia

(Hon. Brook Hedge, Trial Judge)

Argued January 11, 2000

This is an appeal from an order granting a "motion to revive judgment" filed by the assignee of the original judgment. Appellants argue that the motion was improperly granted (1) because the twelve-year statutory period for enforcing the judgment had expired, and had not been tolled by the filing of a supersedeas bond, which appellants never obtained, and (2) because the assignment of the judgment had never been filed with the Clerk of the Superior Court as required by statute. *fn1 We reverse on the first ground without reaching the second.

I.

Sallie Burke sued Emanuel Dickey and Speedy Management Corporation for negligence. On March 26, 1986, a jury rendered a verdict in Ms. Burke's favor, awarding her $75,000 in damages. Judgment was entered on the verdict on March 27. On April 24, 1986, appellants filed a notice of appeal, but neither appellant ever sought or obtained a supersedeas bond. This court dismissed the appeal with prejudice on April 10, 1987, because appellants had failed to order the necessary transcript from the court reporter. Ms. Burke obtained a writ of attachment on June 16, 1988, seeking to garnish Mr. Dickey's salary, but the writ was never executed, and no garnishment ever occurred.

On June 26, 1998, more than ten years later, Ms. Burke assigned her interest in the judgment to her sister, Mary Fair, the present appellee. Ms. Fair then filed a motion to revive the judgment on September 10, 1998, almost twelve and a half years after entry of the judgment. Appellants filed an opposition, but the trial court granted Ms. Fair's motion. This appeal followed.

II.

D.C. Code § 15-101 (a)(2) (1995) provides, with an exception not pertinent here, that "every final judgment or final decree for the payment of money" issued by the Superior Court, when filed with the Recorder of Deeds,

is enforceable, by execution issued thereon, for the period of twelve years only from the date when an execution might first be issued thereon, or from the date of the last order of revival thereof. The time during which the judgment creditor is stayed from enforcing the judgment, by written agreement filed in the case, or other order, or by the operation of an appeal, may not be computed as a part of the period within which the judgment is enforceable by execution. [Emphasis added.]

D.C. Code § 15-101 (b) provides:

At the expiration of the twelve-year period provided by subsection (a) of this section, the judgment or decree shall cease to have any operation or effect. Thereafter, except in the case of a proceeding that may be then pending for the enforcement of the judgment or decree, action may not be brought on ...


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