Domesticate Judgment Coral Gables | Law Offices of Paul A. Humbert, P.L.
How to Pursue an Out of State Judgment
We frequently field calls from companies that obtain a judgment against debtors located in other states only to discover that their debtor has located, or claims assets in Florida. These creditors often want to know what they can do to collect what is rightfully theirs in the state of Florida. The good news is, the legal system has enacted a measure to streamline this process efficiently.
Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act
Like virtually every state in the United States, Florida adopts a form of the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act. For this reason, Florida provides full faith and credit to most judgments, decrees, or orders from out of state courts.
What this means is that a creditor wielding a judgment from another state can domesticate an out of state judgment in Coral Gables. In a similar manner, a credit obtaining a judgment in Florida can enforce the judgment in another jurisdiction, so long as the state adopts the act.
Where and When can I Domesticate an Out of State Judgment in Coral Gables
Creditors should file domestication actions in the country where the debtor lives or claims assets. It is important to additionally place a lien on the debtor’s real property and assets located in Florida before another creditor can get to them.
However, before a creditor can file a domestication action, they must obtain an authenticated copy of the original judgment. Certified and authenticated does not mean the same thing in regards to this document.
A certified copy contains the clerk’s attesting that the document is true, correct, and complete, as well as a copy of an official court recording. An authenticated copy contains all of this information, but additionally the judge’s certification. This states that the court’s seal and the clerk’s attesting represent in due form with the judge’s signed certification.
The Process to Domesticate a Judgment in Coral Gables
Once the creditor obtains the authenticated copy of the foreign judgment, the clerk will file the domestication action. The clerk gives the creditor an affidavit to complete that must contain the name and last known addresses of both debtor and creditor. It is not uncommon for this document to additionally display information about the foreign judgment like the originating court, the total debt amount, interest, and the rate of interest.
Due Process and Defense
An important part of judgment domestication cases is providing the judgment debtor with notice that an action was filed. While the domestication statute implies the Clerk of Court will send this notice, it is a good idea that the judgment creditor or their legal representation also mails a copy utilizing certified mail.
Even in the event that the clerk does not send this notice, if a creditor provides proof of mailing the same, the court will allow the actions to proceed.
Any defense that a debtor possessed during the original proceedings is not allowed during the domestication action in Florida. This includes information regarding the amount and viability of the debt. However, they can form a defense citing that the original court did not wield jurisdiction in the original ruling, or that the court did not adequately represent their best interests.
Enforcing Foreign Judgments in Coral Gables
Once the creditor successfully domesticates the judgment, it is essential that they record the judgment in all counties in Florida where the debtor owns real property or other assets. This provides notice that the domesticated judgment is legitimate. It also offers the creditor a lien and priority over any subsequent creditors.
These actions, when successful, additionally provide the judgment creditor writs of garnishment. This concerns a debtor’s bank account, wages, or proceeds to satisfy the judgment. When creditors successfully domesticate an out of state judgment in Coral Gables, this delivers a clear message that the creditor is serious about collecting on debts.
Domesticate an Out of State Judgment in Coral Gables with the Law Offices of Paul A. Humbert, P.L.
Creditors that obtain a judgment out-of-state in federal court may also domesticate and out of state judgment in Coral Gables. The procedure is very similar to the state court domestication process. With the UEFJA streamlining and enabling the domestication procedure, there is no reason to pursue judgments across state lines.
The Law Offices of Paul A. Humbert, P.L. is a legal resource for the South Florida community. We help individuals and businesses with a plethora of legal situations and circumstances. Our attorneys can help you cultivate a plan and legal strategy to help you achieve a positive outcome in court. We will also impart these efforts at the litigating table.
If you previously obtained a positive ruling against a debtor in court, this likely feels like a substantial victory. Unfortunately, this rarely means that your work is done. Even when a debtor wants to repay their debts, this does not mean that they can. In these situations, you need experienced legal representation in your corner.
The Law Offices of Paul A. Humbert, P.L. possesses extensive experience collecting foreign judgments for our clients through the domestication process. We represent clients of varying sizes and industries often needing to domesticate an out of state judgment in Coral Gables.
For more information on how we can further your legal interests, contact our professional legal team today. We will offer you experienced and educated guidance through each step of the process. Enlisting an attorney will assist your efforts in the South Florida area. If you wield a judgment from Florida and need assistance on a national level, we’ll extend our services when necessary.