APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Madison County; the Hon.
THOMAS E. HILDEBRAND, Judge, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE JONES DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
This appears to be a case of first impression presenting the question: Does the lien of a judgment expire at the end of the statutory life of the judgment notwithstanding the revival of the judgment? The answer to the question, and the resolution of the issue of this case, involves consideration of section 1 of "An Act in regard to judgments * * *" (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 77, par. 1).
On December 9, 1971, the plaintiffs, Robert S. Wolff, Nancy M. Wolff and Wolff Development, Inc., obtained a judgment against defendant, Edward Groshong, an attorney, in the amount of $5,832. On December 16, 1971, plaintiffs filed with the recorder of deeds of Madison County a memorandum of the judgment in order to perfect the lien of the judgment, as provided by section 1 of the Act.
The judgment debtor and his wife, defendant Birdine Groshong, owned and resided upon certain real property in Madison County. About four years after the memorandum of judgment was filed the judgment debtor quitclaimed his interest in the real property to his wife. On October 20, 1978, almost seven years after the judgment was obtained and the memorandum of it recorded, plaintiff Robert Wolff filed an affidavit for scire facias to revive the still unpaid judgment. On January 4, 1979, plaintiffs obtained an order reviving the judgment of December 9, 1971. However, after obtaining the order reviving judgment plaintiffs did not file a transcript, certified copy or memorandum of the order of revival in compliance with the lien provisions of section 1 of the Act.
Thereafter, on March 6, 1979, Edward and Birdine Groshong quitclaimed their interest in the real property to Birdine Groshong and to the couple's children, defendants Dell M. Dively and Donald E. Groshong, also an attorney. Consideration for the transfer was "love and affection." On September 11, 1979, plaintiffs filed a petition for special execution, and on the same date the trial court granted the petition by an order which particularly described the Groshong real estate above referred. *fn1 At that time the judgment and interest amounted to $8,569.34. On September 20, 1979, defendants moved that the order for special execution of September 11, 1979, be quashed, and after a hearing the trial court, in the order from which plaintiffs appeal, granted the motion. At that hearing, Edward Moorman, attorney for defendants, acknowledged that the grantees of the quitclaim deed of March 6, 1979, were not bona fide purchasers and stated,
"[U]ndoubtedly everybody involved [in the conveyance of March 6, 1979] knew about the judgment.
It's not a matter of whether this property was sold or given away. And the fact is that it was given away."
Edward and Birdine Groshong have continued to reside upon the real property so conveyed.
Section 1 of "An Act in regard to judgments * * *" (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 77, par. 1) provides in pertinent part:
"[A] judgment shall be a lien on the real estate of the person against whom it is rendered * * * only from the time a transcript, certified copy or memorandum of the judgment is filed in the office of the recorder of deeds in the county in which the real estate is located.
A judgment shall not be a lien on real estate for longer than 7 years from the time it is rendered or revived.
When a judgment is revived it shall be a lien on the real estate of the person against whom it was rendered * * * from the time a transcript, certified copy or memorandum of the order of revival is filed in the office of the recorder of deeds in the county in which the real estate is located."
In his findings the trial court stated,
"11. That the lien of judgment was not perfected as to the revived judgment prior to the transfer and was not and is not a lien against the ...