Void Judgment – Black’s Law Dictionary

What is a void Order?
What is a Void Judgment or Order?

Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, p. 1574:

Void judgment. One which has has no legal force or effect, invalidity of which may be asserted by any person whose rights are affected at any time and at any place directly or collaterally. Reynolds v. Volunteer State Life Ins. Co., Tex.Civ.App., 80 S.W.2d 1087, 1092. One which from its inception is and forever continues to be absolutely null, without legal efficacy, ineffectual to bind parties or support a right, of no legal force and effect whatever, and incapable of confirmation, ratification, or enforcement in any manner or to any degree. Judgment is a “void judgment” if court that rendered judgment lacked jurisdiction of the subject matter, or of the parties, or acted in a manner inconsistent with due process. Klugh v. U.S., D.C.S.C., 610 F.Supp. 892, 901. See also Voidable judgment

Case Law on VOID Judgments
Void judgments are those rendered by a court which lacked jurisdiction, either of the subject matter or the parties. See:

Wahl v. Round Valley Bank, 38 Ariz. 411, 300 P.955 (1931)
Tube City Mining & Milling Co. v. Otterson, 16 Ariz. 305, 146 P. 203 (1914)
Milliken v. Meyer, 311 U.S. 457, 61 S.Ct. 339, 85 L.Ed. 2d 278 (1940)

Although Rule 60(b)(4) is ostensibly subject to the “reasonable” time limit of Rule 60(b), at least one court has held that no time limit applies to a motion under the Rule 60(b)(4) because a void judgment can never acquire validity through laches. See Crosby v. Bradstreet Co., 312 F.2d 483 (2nd Cir.) cert. denied, 373 U.S. 911, 83 S.Ct. 1300, 10 L.Ed.2d 412 (1963) where the court vacated a judgment as void 30 years after entry. See also Marquette Corp. v. Priester, 234 F.Supp. 799 (E.D.S.C.1964) where the court expressly held that clause Rule 60(b)(4) carries no real time limit

A void judgment which includes judgment entered by a court which lacks jurisdiction over the parties or the subject matter, or lacks inherent power to enter the particular judgment, or an order procured by fraud, can be attacked at any time, in any court, either directly or collaterally, provided that the party is properly before the court. See Long v. Shorebank Development Corp., 182 F.3d 548 (C.A. 7 Ill. 1999)

Judgment is a void judgment if court that rendered judgment lacked jurisdiction of the subject matter, or of the parties, or acted in a manner inconsistent with due process, Fed Rules Civ. Proc., Rule 60(b)(4), 28 U.S.C.A.; U.S.C.A. Const Amend. 5. Klugh v. U.S., 620 F.Supp. 892 (D.S.C. 1985).

A void judgment is one which has a mere semblance, but is lacking in some of the essential elements which would authorize the court to proceed to judgment, Henderson v. Henderson, 59 S.E.2d 227, (N.C. 1950).

Void judgment is one which has no legal force or effect whatever, it is an absolute nullity, its invalidity may be asserted by any person whose rights are affected at any time and at any place and it need not be attacked directly but may be attacked collaterally whenever and wherever it is interposed, City of Lufkin v. McVicker, 510 S.X.2d 141 (Twx.Civ.App.-Beaumone 1973).

When rule providing for relief from void judgments is applicable, relief is not discretionary matter, but is mandatory, Orner. V. Shalala, 30 F.3d 1307 (Colo. 1994).

Judgments entered where court lacked either subject matter or personal jurisdiction, or that were otherwise entered in violation of due process of law, must be set aside, Jaffe and Asher v. Van Brunt, S.D.N.Y.1994, 158 F.R.D. 278.

A “void” judgment, as we all know, grounds no rights, forms no defense to actions taken thereunder, and is vulnerable to any manner of collateral attack (thus here, by). No statute of limitations or repose runs on its holdings, the matters thought to be settled thereby are not res judicata, and years later, when the memories may have grown dim and rights long been regarded as vested, any disgruntled litigant may reopen old wound and once more probe its depths. And it is then as though trial and adjudication had never been. Fritts v. Krugh, Supreme Court of Michigan, 92 N.W.2d 604, 354 Mich. 97 (10/13/58).

No Petition in the record of the case, Brown v. VanKeuren, 340 Ill. 118, 122 (1930)
1.Defective Petition filed, Brown v. VanKeuren, 340 Ill. 118, 122 (1930)
2.Fraud committed in the procurement of jurisdiction, Fredman Brothers Furniture v. Dept. of Revenue, 109 Ill.2d 202, 486 N.E.2d 893 (1985).
3.Fraud upon the court, In re Village of Willowbrook, 37 Ill. App.3d 393 (1962)
4.A judge does not follow statutory procedure, Armstrong v. Obucino, 300 Ill. 140, 143 (1921).
5.Unlawful activity of a judge, Code of Judicial Conduct.
6.Violation of due process, Johnson v. Zerbst, 304 U.S. 458, 58 S.Ct. 1019 (1938); Pure Oil Co. v. City of Northlake, 10 Ill.2d 241, 245, 140 N.E.2d 289 (1956); Hallberg v. Goldblatt Bros., 363 Ill.25 (1936);
7.If the court exceeded its statutory authority, Rosenstiel v. Rosenstiel, 278 F.Supp. 794 (S.D.N.Y. 1967).
8.Any acts in violation of 11 U.S.C. §362(a), In re Garcia, 109 B.R. 335 (N.D. Illinois, 1989).
9.Where no justiciable issue is presented to the court through proper pleadings, Ligon v. Williams, 264 Ill. App.3d 701, 637 N.E.2d 633 (1st Dist. 1994).
10.Where a complaint states no cognizable cause of action against that party, Charles v. Gore, 248 Ill.App.3d 441, 618 N.E.2d 554 (1st Dist. 1993).
11.Where any litigant was represented before a court by a person/law firm that is prohibited by law to practice in that jurisdiction.
12.When the judge is involved in a scheme of bribery (the Alemann cases, Bracey v. Warden, U.S. Supreme Court No. 96-6133; June 9, 1997)
13.Where a summons was not properly issued.
14.Where service of process was not made pursuant to statute and Supreme Court Rules, Janove v. Bacon, 6 Ill. 2d 245, 249, 218 N.E.2d 706, 708 (1955).
15.When the Rules of Circuit Court are not complied with.
Elliot v. Piersol, 1 Pet. 328, 340, 26 U.S. 328, 340 (1828):

Under Federal law which is applicable to all states, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that if a court is

“without authority, its judgments and orders are regarded as nullities. They are not voidable, but simply void; and form no bar to a recovery sought, even prior to a reversal in opposition to them. They constitute no justification; and all persons concerned in executing such judgments or sentences, are considered, in law, as trespassers.”

[Elliot v. Piersol, 1 Pet. 328, 340, 26 U.S. 328, 340 (1828)]

World-Wide Volkwagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286 (1980)

“A judgment rendered in violation of due process is void in the rendering State and is not entitled to full faith and credit elsewhere. Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U.S. 714, 732-733 (1878).”

[World-Wide Volkwagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286 (1980)]

Full Faith and Credit
The effects of the res judicata doctrine extend to judgements rendered in other States through the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution, which requires that “the judgement of a State court which had jurisdiction of the parties and the subject-matter in suit, shall be given in the courts of every other State the same credit, validity and effect which it has in the State where it was rendered, and be equally conclusive upon the merits . . . .” Roche v. McDonald, 275 U.S. 449, 451-452 (1928)

. There are, however, exceptions to the full faith and credit rule. The two that apply here are:

1.The Validity of the Missouri Judgement

2.The Right to Due Process of Law

The full faith and credit clause assumes that there is a valid judgement in the first place. However, if the original judgement is void according to the standards of Missouri courts, then there is no judgement and the full faith and credit clause doesn’t apply. Thus relying on Missouri’s own laws, any judgement that isn’t signed by a judge or isn’t denominated judgement isn’t a judgement, and if it isn’t a judgement in Missouri, it isn’t a judgement in any other state or federal court.

Thus, if you can show a California court that a Missouri judgement fails to meet the bright line test outlined on the Missouri decisions cited here, then you should be able to get the court to rule the judgement void even if it were upheld in Missouri. Just because Missouri judges don’t know how to write a judgement and Missouri has sloppy constitutional customs, doesn’t bind other states to the same low standards.

The 14th amendment of the United States Constitution gives everyone a right to due process of law, which includes judgements that comply with the rules and case law. Most due process exceptions deal with the issue of notification. If, for example, someone gets a judgement against you in another state without your having been notified, you can attack the judgement for lack of due process of law. In Griffen v. Griffen, 327 U.S. 220, 66 S. Ct. 556, 90 L. Ed. 635 a pro se litigant won his case in the Supreme Court who stated:

A judgement obtained in violation of procedural due process is not entitled to full faith and credit when sued upon in another jurisdiction. National Exchange Bank v. Wiley, 195 U.S. 257; Old Wayne Life Assn. v. McDonough, 204 U.S. 8, 23; Baker v. Baker, Eccles & Co., 242 U.S. 394, 401. Moreover, due process requires that no other jurisdiction shall give effect, even as a matter of comity, to a judgement elsewhere acquired without due process.

Procedural due process, does that include the lack of a judge’s signature when the rules clearly require a signature? I think would so. The argument may not fly in a Missouri court, but any sane jurisdiction would have to uphold it.

“As a general rule,… a trial lacks fundamental fairness where there are errors which call into question the reliability of the outcome.”
– in State v. Brock, 2008 and 7 similar citations

Moon v. Keisling, Tenn: Court of Appeals 2008

Courts can only act upon matters that are properly brought before them pursuant to “the settled law, practice and usage.” Randolph v. Jenks v. Merchants’ Nat’l Bank, 77 Tenn. 63, 68 (Tenn. 1882). That was not the case in Hodge. “Orders issued by a court without jurisdiction are void, and we are under an affirmative duty to vacate void orders without reaching the merits of the issues on appeal.” Hodge, 2007 WL 3202769, at *2 (citing Tenn. R. App. P. 13(b); First American Trust Co. v. Franklin-Murray Dev. Co. L.P., 59 S.W.3d 135, 141 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2001)). Accordingly, we vacated the 2005 Order of Reference as being void due to a lack of jurisdiction. Id. at *4

“* * * Furthermore, tampering with the administration of justice in the manner indisputably shown here involves far more than an injury to a single litigant. It is a wrong against the institutions set up to protect and safeguard the public, institutions in which fraud cannot complacently be tolerated consistently with the good order of society. Surely it cannot be that preservation of the integrity of the judicial process must always wait upon the diligence of litigants. The public welfare demands that the agencies of public justice be not so impotent that they must always be mute and helpless victims of deception and fraud.” (Emphasis ours.)
—holding that failure to notify counsel of entry of an order overruling motion for new trial constituted excusable neglect justifying relief under Rule 60.02 (1
– in Henry v. Goins, 2003 and 2 similar citations

Commonwealth of Kentucky Court of Appeals

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
Sep 25, 2009 … Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure (CR) 56. Therein, the …

Generally, a void judgment has no effect and may be disregarded.

Gullet v. Gullet, 992 S.W.2d 866 (Ky.App. 1999). And, it is well-established that

a person may not be held in contempt for failure to comply with a void order.

Davis v. City of Bowling Green, 289 S.W.2d 506 (Ky. 1956).


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