Goodman v. Winter Quarters & Capital West, 2012COA96 (June 7, 2012)

“Race-notice” says it all.  This priority dispute between competing lien-holders involves a unique set of events.  An earlier judgment lien recorded against a property was later reformed to a higher amount nunc pro tunc (as if it were so originally). In between recording and reformation of the lien, the debtor sells the property to a new owner, who secures his creditor with a deed of trust recorded against the same property.  The creditor was aware of the original judgment lien and the post-judgment litigation. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s conclusion that the deed was junior to only the amount of the original judgment lien, not the higher amount, because the normal retroactive effect of an order nunc pro tunc does not apply to innocent third parties.  The creditor was “innocent” because it could not reasonably predict that the judgment lien would balloon post-judgment.


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