The trial of O.J. Simpson was one of the biggest stories of the 1990s. As most people know, Simpson was ultimately acquitted in a decision that remains highly controversial. Two years later, Sharon Rufo, the mother of murder victim Ron Goldman won a wrongful death judgment against Simpson for $9 million, which was seen as something of a vindication for the victims. Simpson, of course, ended up getting convicted for another crime -a 2007 armed robbery of sports memorabilia in Las Vegas. He has been in a Nevada prison since 2008. But what about the judgment? As it turns out, it was never paid.
After the decision was rendered, Simpson was compelled to give up some of his assets, but neither the courts nor Rufo has been successful at collecting the large sum of money. That’s why Rufo has decided to place the judgment on the Judgment Marketplace website. Here, it can either be purchased for a $1 million “buy it now” price or auctioned off to the highest bidder. Because the judgment is already 17 years old, it has accumulated quite a bit of interest, bringing its total value to $24.7 million.
Why was it so hard for Rufo to collect a judgment from a well known and supposedly wealthy celebrity like Simpson? This is actually a very common problem. Even when debtors have money, federal laws protect many of their financial assets. Thus, even though Simpson is still collecting a substantial pension from his NFL career, this income cannot be seized to pay the judgment.
It’s a sad reality of our legal system that the majority of judgments are never collected. The Simpson case, along with a much smaller one against Kim Kardashian are only two well publicized examples of a very widespread problem that adds up to billions of dollars in unpaid judgments. As more people find out about Judgment Marketplace, we can expect many more judgments to be listed here. This provides people who have been awarded judgments a viable option when they are unable to collect from the debtor.
The judgment against Simpson has an expiration date, due to statute of limitations rules that apply in such cases. On March 10, 2017 the judgment expires, which means whoever purchases it has less than 3 years to collect. The judgment may be renewed for an additional 10 years. The auction for this judgment will last for 30 days.