August 4, 2023

An insider’s view on the rewrite of ORS Chapter 18 Judgments, Part Four: Judgment Execution and Remedies


In 2001, long before he was a Jordan Ramis Shareholder, Gary Blacklidge joined the Oregon Law Commission work group for judgments reform. Three years later, the Oregon Legislature passed HB 2646, based nearly entirely on the work group’s recommendation[1] and rewrote ORS Chapter 18 – Judgments, which became law on January 1, 2004. In March 2023, Gary sat down with fellow Jordan Ramis Shareholder Russ Garrett to reflect on the reasons and outcomes of the work group’s efforts in this four-part blog series 20 years after the final report.


RUSS: In our prior blogs about ORS Chapter 18, when we discussed judgment definitions and money awards, you made a reference to execution. What is an execution? As I recall, before Chapter 18 in its current form was adopted, this was a substantial question (in part) because supplemental proceeding examinations could not be occur until you had either a demand through certified mail, or an unsatisfied execution. What is an unsatisfied execution? The statute (previous version of Chapter 18) didn’t actually define it. We took the position that a garnishment was a form of execution, even though it was not specified in the statute. This statute clarified execution for the first time.

GARY: In 18.005(6), execution means “enforcement of the money award, or judgment requiring delivery of the possession or the sale of specific real or personal property by means of writs of execution, writs of garnishment and other statutory or common law writs or remedies that may be available under the law.”

Execution was somewhat summarized under the definition of judgment remedy, which includes a judgment lien. So the judgment remedy means the ability of the judgment creditor to enforce the judgment through execution and any judgment lien arising under ORS 18.150 or ORS 18.152. So you can enforce through a lien. You have to have the judgment lien on real property before you can execute.

RUSS: I want to touch on a conceptional issue that gets overlooked: the difference between the judgment and judgment remedies. I think you have said judgment remedies can expire, but judgments do not.

GARY: First you look to see if there is a money award. It’s the one of the judgment remedies that may expire, so you will want to docket the expiration date and either let the client know you are not going to keep track of it, or if you are going to keep track of the expiration, extend the judgment before it expires if it’s not fully satisfied. If the judgment doesn’t include a money award, it doesn’t expire.

But if the judgment is for a claim and delivery of, say some equipment, you are not going to want to wait ten years (when the remedy expires.) That remedy is in the judgment remedy section, but your judgment remedy to recover expires in ten years.

RUSS: Which judgment remedy would expire?

GARY: The right to recover the property.

RUSS: Even if after judgment determines you are the rightful owner and you have a right to recover?

GARY: You have ten years to recover. Better do it! The execution means enforcement of a judgment requiring the delivery or sale of specific real or personal property. So if you are going to have it by means of a writ of execution or writ of garnishment and have the sheriff go get it, you better do it. The ability of the judgment creditor to enforce a judgment through execution is a judgment remedy that expires under ORS 18.180.

RUSS: Agreed, but there are determinations of parties’ interests in real and personal property that don’t require an execution.

GARY: No claim and delivery there.

RUSS: For instance, a fence and the fence line are yours. I don’t need a sheriff to execute on a fence.

GARY: That’s like a quiet title or adverse possession or a boundary line dispute.

RUSS: The fence might be personal property or it might be a fixture.

RUSS: But let me contrast. There is a question about who owns a Mercedes Benz Gullwing. The determination is that between you and me, I own it, but you are driving it around. If I don’t get it from you within 10 years, don’t I still own it?

GARY: You still own it, but if you want it, possession is another matter. Do you have a Gullwing in one of your bankruptcies?

RUSS: I wish!

Click here to read Part One: “Chapter 18 was a mess”

Click here to read Part Two: Judgment Definitions

Click here to read Part Three: Money Awards in Judgments

[1] “Judgments/Enforcement of Judgments: Work Group Judgment Report (LC 1090),” Biennial Report of the Oregon Law Commission, 2001-03, submitted February 6, 2003.

Back to Top