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Domesticate Foreign Judgments – Florida

Florida Statute 55.501, titled the “Florida Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act”, governs domestication of out-of-state judgments in Florida. The title of this statute is a bit misleading, as “foreign does not mean a judgment from another country. Contrarily, “domesticate foreign judgments” simply means a migration concerning a judgment rendered in another state or jurisdiction. 

The statutory apparatus of §55.501, et seq. calls for recording the foreign judgment. This includes the necessity of filing an affidavit of the judgment holder’s address, as well as sending notice of the intent to domesticate the judgment to the judgment debtor.

This notice is sent via registered mail by the clerk of court in the county of domestication. However, the statute additionally allows the domesticating creditor to send its own notice. This is a prudent action to take as it helps avoid later headaches should the clerk not properly serve notice to the judgment debtor.

After the judgment debtor receives the notice, there is a 30-day moratorium of judgment execution. This action offers the judgment debtor to file an opposition against the final domestication of the judgment in Florida.

Sister State Judgment – Domesticate Foreign Judgments

Because judgments in sister states receive full faith and credit under Article IV of the Constitution, a judgment properly entered into another state is nearly always enforceable in Florida. Exceptions to this circumstance include if the foreign judgment did not possess jurisdiction over the judgment debtor at the time of entering with the clerk.

For example, a legal practice in California sues a New York resident who has never been to California. In this scenario, the legal entity achieves the judgment migration in California without the New York defendant receiving notice.

In such an event, if the California judgment creditor attempts domestication of the judgment in Miami-Dade County, Florida (perhaps the New York resident owns a vacation home on Miami Beach the California creditor hopes to levy on) the New York resident wields an opportunity to challenge domestication of the California judgment through the procedures set forth in Florida Statute §55.509.

Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Florida

If a judgment debtor believes they own grounds to contest domestication under Florida Statute §55.509, they must file an action contesting the jurisdiction of the court that entered the foreign judgment. The debtor must also record a lis pendens directed toward the foreign judgment.

This all must take place within 30 days of the clerk of court’s recording of the judgment. However, this is the exception, not the rule, and the vast majority of out-of-state creditors that comply with the dictates of the Florida statutes are entitled to the domestication of the judgment. Unfortunately for the out-of-state judgment holder, congratulations are not yet in order.

While successful domestication of an out-of-state judgment may feel like a victory for a creditor, the real work is just beginning. Creditors must begin the arduous post-judgment execution process anew after domestication.

Florida statutory and case law will govern the post-judgment collections proceedings, notwithstanding the judgment’s origination in a sister state. Hiring an experienced Florida debt collection attorney is an important step in ensuring the highest likelihood of collection.

Ensure a Quick and Favorable Outcome

The first thing to do as a creditor when unsure of where to begin attempting domestication of a foreign judgment is contacting your local county clerk. This will inform you on what documentation and requirements you need to begin filing for the domestication.

Enlisting the services of a qualified attorney can mean the difference between a timely, positive resolution to your case, and grinding it out either at the litigating table or in the courtroom. An attorney familiar with the local courts as well as the UEFJA is a major asset to a swift and optimal resolution of your case.

It doesn’t matter if you own a local business attempting to reclaim assets or a representative for a large multinational company seeking jurisdictional enforcement, an experienced attorney will be to the benefit of our case.

Attain the necessary experience and devotion of a local Florida lawyer to help with your domestication of a foreign judgment in Florida. This professional’s assistance cannot be understated. They will lend their expertise to each facet of the case while ensuring their place as an advocate for your best interests.

An attorney proficient in the field of domesticating foreign judgments in Florida will ensure you a streamlined and mistake-free procedure while domesticating foreign judgments in Florida on your behalf.

Debt Collection Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Paul A. Humbert, P.L., we wield vast experience domesticating out-of-state judgments. Our team regularly attains successful judgment migration in Florida for clients all across the United States.

On our website, you will find valuable information concerning our law firm and practice areas. Additionally, there is also information regarding domestication of foreign judgments, the UEFJA, as well as the judgment enforcement process.

As an out-of-state creditor seeking to enforce a judgment in Florida, we want to extend our services to you. We will happily provide a free consultation. Early consultation with a Florida debt collection attorney ensures a smoother process as well as increased chances of a positive outcome in your case.

Our firm is firmly rooted in South Florida as a reliable resource for defending creditor rights and debt collection. We represent numerous clients ranging from small business owners to large multinational banks and other corporations. For more information on how to domesticate foreign judgments in Florida, contact our firm today.


Domestication a Foreign Judgement in Florida


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