In law, a judgment is the end-result of a civil trial. It encapsulates the court's verdict, and orders appropriate remedies.
A judgment is the official and authentic decision of a court of justice upon the rights and claims of parties to an action or suit submitted to the court for determination. (See also summary judgment).
In federal court, a judgment is "the pronouncement of that decision and the act that gives [the decision] legal effect." 10 Charles Alan Wright, Arthur R. Miller & Mary Kay Kane, Federal Practice and Procedure § 2651, at 9 (3d ed. 1998) (footnote omitted); see also Rau v. Apple-Rio Mgmt. Co., Inc., 85 F. Supp. 2d 1344, 1346 (N.D. Ga. 1999); Bryan v. City of Madison, Miss., 130 F. Supp. 2d 798, 805 (S.D. Miss. 1999).
A judgment is not self-executing. The winner of a judgment must still collect assets from the losing party. Some parties are judgment-proof: that is, they have no money which a judgment can recover. Alternately, a wily "judgment-debtor" may hide assets from execution to appear judgment proof.
Many states provide a method of discovery, called "post-judgment discovery," to ensure that judgment-debtors cannot cheat justice. Texas provides this through Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 621a.
Methods of Recovery
Judgments are enforceable at law through a variety of mechanisms. They are, typically: