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Judgment by Confession

A consent judgment is based in contract. It is when parties to a lawsuit set forth the terms and conditions of an agreement and agree that the Court can enter a judgment consistent with the terms, amount and conditions of the agreement. The effect is that the agreement becomes a public, court-ordered judgment with more teeth than a private contract. 

A judgment by confession is a somewhat similar concept.  Traditionally, a judgment by confession was one entered for the plaintiff in a case where the defendant, instead of entering a plea or denying/contesting the claims, “confessed” the action. The Court, then, has no choice but to enter judgment on the confession. Under Section 511.070 RSMo, “judgment by confession may be entered without action, either for money due or to become due or to secure any person against contingency liability on behalf of the defendant, or both, in the manner herein prescribed.” 

There are three basic requirements for a judgment by confession: (1) signed and verified by the defendant, (2) state the amount of the judgment, (3) state concisely the factual background of the liability and (4) to the extent it is a contingent liability it must describe specifically the facts constituting the liability. Section 511.080, RSMo.

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