A judgment of a court of record awarding a sum of money to one of two litigants, either by way of damages or for costs, lays an obligation upon the other to pay the sum awarded. The judgment is entered upon the record of the court, and for this reason is called a "formal" contract. This obligation may come into existence as the final result of litigation when the court pronounces judgment, or it may be created by agreement between the parties before litigation has commenced, or during its continuance. In the latter case there is agreement, and the agreement results in obligation. The judgment, therefore, has the features of contract. In the former, however, there is no consent on the part of the person bound, and the obligation, therefore, is not contractual, but quasi contractual.4
3 RANN v. HUGHES, 7 Term R. 350, Throckmorton, Cas. Contracts, 34; Whitehill v. Wilson, 3 Pen. & W. (Pa.) 405, 24 Am. Dec. 326; Perrine v. Cheesernan, 11 N. J. Law, 174, 19 Am. Dec. 388; Stabler v. Cowman, 7 Gill & J. (Md.) 284. See post, p. 76. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 30-32; Cent. Dig. §§ 144-147.
4 O'BRIEN v. YOUNG, 95 N. Y. 425, 47 Am. Rep. 64, Throckmorton, Caa. Contracts, 36, in which it is said, per Earl, J.: "The most important elements
Where the judgment is entered by agreement, the obligation results' from a contract for the making of which certain formalities are required, - either a warrant of attorney, by which one party gives authority to the other to enter judgment upon terms settled, or a cognovit actionem, by which the one party acknowledges the right of the other in respect of the pending dispute, and then gives a similar authority.5