Yesterday was the twenty-second anniversary of OJ Simpson’s acquittal in the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. And while he may have escaped prison, or worse, for the deaths of these people, he cannot, apparently, escape the efforts of one David Cook. Mr. Cook represents the family of Ronald Goldman who obtained a $33 million dollar judgment against OJ Simpson for wrongful death in 1997. Mr. Cook has been quoted as saying “The good news for me is he’s getting out. The bad news for him is I’m in good health. I’m good to go.” One may wonder where exactly Mr. Cook is good to go to? The answer to that would be after OJ Simpson’s assets in order to satisfy the outstanding civil judgment against him for wrongful death. That judgment has been accruing interest for the last 20 years. Mr. Cook estimates the balance on the judgment is approaching $70 million dollars in 2017. It does not sound pleasant for OJ Simpson having attorney David Cook on his trail.
Why is This Important?
Mr. Cook plans to use the same options that a creditor can use to collect against an individual after obtaining a judgment on a defaulted credit card or a repossessed vehicle. A certificate of judgment can be recorded in the public records and, by doing so, will become a judgment lien against any property, real or personal, that is located within the county where it is recorded. How long would this judgment lien last? In Alabama, for example, the initial recording of the judgment creates a judgment lien for ten (10) years. That lien would expire on the ten year, one day mark unless the creditor revived the judgment for second ten year period. A judgment will be deemed satisfied by law twenty (20) years from the date the judgment was entered. Most states set specific time periods after which even a judgment lien will expire. Mr. Cook revived the wrongful death judgment, stating “I renewed the judgment in 2015 at $57 million. Two years have passed, so now it’s a touch under $70 million.”
Collection of Funds
In addition to reviving the judgment, Mr. Cook has used the tool of attachment to help collect on the outstanding judgment. Attachment can be the garnishment of wages or money sitting in bank accounts. It can also be the attachment of specific things, i.e. OJ Simpson’s Heisman Trophy. It appears Mr. Cook was unsuccessful in attaching Mr. Simpson’s pension from the NFL but more successful in attaching proceeds from the sale of his book “If I Did It.” It does not appear that Mr. Cook and his plans to hound OJ Simpson in the collection of this judgment will go away anytime in the near future.
If you are struggling with the efforts of a creditor to collect a judgment and want to learn how bankruptcy relief can potentially help you, please contact one of our locations nearest you in Alabama, Mississippi or Tennessee for a free, confidential consultation.
Carla M. Handy is the Managing Partner of the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Gadsden and Anniston, Alabama. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Auburn University, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Alabama School of Law. She has been helping families navigate consumer bankruptcy cases since 1994.Read her full bio here.