A judgment remains on a credit report for seven years from the date of filing. A judgment is considered a public record and can adversely affect a credit score. Some public records, such as divorces, do not affect a FICO, or credit score.
However, public records such as judgments, bankruptcies and tax liens are considered adverse public records and do have an impact. The effect of adverse public records on a FICO score lessens over time. To avoid a judgment, one can talk to the creditor before the issue goes to court and see if an alternative to a court case can be arranged.