In Florida, a final judgment is not actually the final step of the case. If you the winner, there are additional steps you must take to enforce the judgment (order). If you are the loser, you may wish to appeal the decision. Whichever side you are on, you should know what happens after a civil order is issued. Knowledge is power.
What Happens After a Civil Order is Issued
Damages: Get paid.
Damages are what the losing party must pay the winning party. You want to record the judgment. If properly recorded, a judgment for money is a lien upon the real or personal property of the person against whom the judgment is entered. The lien lasts for 10 years and may be renewable. If the party ever sells the real or personal property, the lien ensures you are paid before they are.
Enforcement: Winning isn’t everything.
Enforcement is probably the most overlooked step of the litigation process. The old adage “Winning isn’t everything” takes on a whole new meaning in the legal world. Here, winning isn’t everything because a final judgment in your favor is nothing but a piece of paper if you can’t (or don’t) enforce it. You must actually find a source of money and legally transfer that money to you. There are ways to enforce a judgment that an attorney can help you with.
Appeal: Ask for a second opinion.
Filing for an appeal of the final judgment is a great option for the loser of a trial, especially if the trial was a jury trial. Sometimes the jury makes an emotional decision that an objective appellate judge may disagree with. Even if a trial judge decided the case, there may still be an argument that the judgment was somehow wrong. You will want to talk to your trial attorney about the cost and likelihood of success before deciding whether to appeal.