(Reprinted from Citizens’ Law Digest, 2003)
Void judgments have become the sensation of the year in pro se and related circles. Seminars, special reports, and person to person networking have produced a number of efforts at eliminating bad results in Court, as well as some frustration. While there is an abundance of legal authority to the effect that a void judgment can be overturned by motion or litigation, too many people are clearly developing unrealistic expectations as to the extent of the problems it can resolve.
A body of law on the subject of void judgments exists at both the state and federal levels.
See Sisk v Garey, 27 Md. 401, 414-19 (1867). See also Welden v United States 70 F3 1, 10-11, Barrows v Hutton, 99 U.S. 80, 83 (1878); and Catz v Chalker, 142 F3d 79.
In Virginia, a 2-year time limit exists to challenge a void judgment under Section 8.01-428(A) (ii) and a collateral attack by an independent equity action if a party can show non-receipt of ...notice and a meritorious defense. See also Miserandino v Resort Properties 345 Md 43
Wyoming also has cases on the subject of void judgments. For example, in Olson v Leith 71 Wyo 316, a discussion on void judgments means situations where a personal judgment was rendered against the defendant without acquiring jurisdiction over the person, or wherever a judgment was entered by the clerk of court without authority. See 61 Wyo. At 203.