Legal Memorandum: Assignment of a Judgment in MN

Issue: Whether an assignment of a judgment, signed only by the judgment creditor’s attorney, is considered a valid assignment in Minnesota.

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Assignment of a judgment; Judgment creditor; Validity
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 250 N.W.2d 224; 384 N.W.2d 209; 13 N.W. 194; 21 Minn. 56
Cited Statutes: Minn. Stat. § 481.08
Date: 12/01/2011

28 Dunnell Minn. Digest Judgments § 1.01(b) (2011) (“Judgments have the assignable quality of choses in action. An assignment in any form passes an equity that the courts will recognize and protect.”).

Minn. Stat. § 481.08 (“An attorney may bind a client, at any stage of an action or proceeding, by agreement made in open court or in the presence of the court administrator, and entered in the minutes by such court administrator, or made in writing and signed by such attorney.”);

Kronschnable v. Knoblauch, 21 Minn. 56 (1874) (Absent authority from the client, trial counsel lacks the power of disposition over the client’s property once judgment has been entered.)

Kurtz v. Central Livestock Assn., Inc., Nos. C1-97-890, C1-97-1487, 1998 Minn. App. LEXIS 66 (Jan. 20, 1998) (surety bond executed by attorney on behalf of client is enforceable despite client’s failure to sign the bond);

Burner Serv. & Combustion Controls Co. v. City of Minneapolis, 250 N.W.2d 224 (Minn. 1977) (discussing authority of a city attorney to bind his client to settlements);

Schoregge v. Gordon, 13 N.W. 194 (Minn. 1882) (When authorized by his client, an attorney may bind the client in postjudgment collection matters);

Skalbeck v. Agristor Leasing, 384 N.W.2d 209 (Minn. Ct. App. 1986) (client cannot claim his attorney lacked authority to bind him when, but action or inaction, he has ratified the attorney’s action).


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