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Damage judgment (DJN)
A damage judgment is court action taken by a company or individual (plaintiff) against another (defendant). A damage judgment results from a motor vehicle accident with damages of $500 or more, excluding attorney fees and court costs.
Wisconsin State Statutes Section 344.26 (1)(a) requires the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) to suspend a person’s operating and registration privileges upon receipt of a certification of judgment. Senate Bill 217 (SB 217) and Act 112 require that the suspension remain on the driver record for 5 years from the court entry date if it has not been satisfied. Certificates of judgment are received from courts within the state of Wisconsin as well as other states.
The plaintiff files a claim against the owner/operator (defendant) with the court. The court is required to make one attempt to notify the defendant of the court date. The court often uses the “Legal Notice” section of a local newspaper as notification.
When the court enters the judgment, the plaintiff or their attorney may ask the court to certify the judgment to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, if the statutory appeal period has passed and the judgment has not been satisfied. Many courts use the Certificate of Judgment form MV3158 to certify judgment information. The notice of entry must accompany this form.
When the certification is received by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the operating and/or registration privileges of the defendant are suspended. The suspension remains in effect until one of the following documents filed or 5 years have passed:
- Private installment agreement. A payment plan that is agreed upon between the plaintiff or their attorney and the defendant to pay the damages or;
- A court ordered installment agreement. A payment plan that the court orders the defendant to pay. The agreement is signed by a judge and certified to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation or;
- Satisfaction of judgment. A court stamped or certified satisfaction that states the judgment has been paid in full or;
- Bankruptcy. If you have filed bankruptcy,
contact our office via email at
email@example.com for reinstatement
requirements. You will need to provide the following
- A copy of the bankruptcy petition which has the date filed and court case number included.
A defendant must contact the plaintiff or their attorney to make arrangements to settle a judgment. If a defendant defaults on an agreement, the plaintiff notifies the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will again suspend the person’s operating and/or registration privileges.
When the Wisconsin Department of Transportation receives acceptable compliance requirements, the defendant is required to reinstate his/her driving and/or registration privileges.
- Proof of insurance – SR22 insurance filing, for three years from the court entry date.
- $110 reinstatement fee for driver license and registration.
Questions? Contact us:
Call: (608) 266-8753
Last modified: May 29, 2013
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