The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit yesterday overturned part of a dismissal of a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act suit, ruling that the defendant did not follow the proper sequence under Nevada law when renewing an unpaid judgment.
What Happened: The defendant obtained a default judgment against the plaintiff in 1997. The statute of limitations on judgments in Nevada is six years, so it renewed the judgment in 2003, 2009, 2015, and 2021. The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the defendant violated the FDCPA because the judgment had not been properly renewed according to Nevada law. A District Court judge dismissed the suit.
The Law: Under Nevada law, creditors have to file a renewal within 90 days before the judgment expires. While the defendant followed that part of the law, the other part states that judgments are successfully renewed upon the timely filing of an affidavit, the timely recording of the affidavit, and the timely service of the affidavit.
- In 2009, the defendant mailed the affidavit of renewal to the plaintiff on March 11 and then filed the affidavit with the clerk of the court on March 16. That made the attempt to renew that judgment invalid. Since that renewal was invalid, any subsequent renewal must also be rendered invalid because of the six year statute of limitations, the Appeals Court ruled.
The Ruling: The Appeals Court remanded the case back to the District Court, having affirmed the judgment in part and reversed the judgment in part.