How to Enforce and Domesticate an Out of State Judgment in Florida
Chapter 55 of Florida Statutes articulates the procedures and processes to enforce or domesticate an out of state judgment in Florida. This process requires that a Miami creditor follows the laid out steps exactly in order to attain an enforceable judgment.
Additionally, Florida law imparts some protections for Florida debtors against the enforcement of foreign judgments. Regardless if you represent a judgment creditor, debtor, or collection agency, it is crucial to enlist an attorney in the Miami area that is familiar with this process.
It is important in cases of this nature that you enlist the services of a qualified legal professional. For both creditors as well as debtors and collection agencies, legal intervention in domestication and enforcement of foreign judgment cases is crucial to a positive outcome in court.
Out-of-state creditors need to ensure that they follow every step precisely. This ensures an optimal outcome, i.e. collecting the foreign judgment.
The first step is enlisting a Florida attorney to record a certified copy of the foreign judgment with the clerk of court in the county where the debtor resides or holds assets you want to collect or levy on.
This attorney should also prepare and record a judgment creditor’s affidavit. The document states the debtor’s name, social security number (if known), as well as their last known address. The affadavit will also contain the same information in regards to the creditor.
The Clerk of the Circuit Court will then mail a notice of this recording to the debtor while recording a proof of mail service with the court. The judgment becomes enforceable and collectible within 30 days from this notice.
However, a judgment debtor can file a separate action contesting the judgment, as well as the jurisdiction of the court. They must file this action within the 30-day period or the case continues as if the judgment creditor was not present.
Once a foreign judgment is enforceable, the creditor and their attorney can then take legal action to collect the debt. This may include a writ of garnishment, and levy against bank accounts and property.
Contrarily, if any of the above requirements are not fulfilled timely or properly, a judgment debtor possesses recourse to defend against judgment enforcement, as well as collections. This is due to the statutory construction concerning foreign judgment domestication. They can form a defense on the grounds that the statute’s requirements were not met.
Additionally, the judgment debtor can challenge the foreign judgment if the appeal is pending in another jurisdiction. They could also formulate a strategy focused on the original entering court lacking jurisdiction over the debtor.
To challenge enforcement of a foreign judgment, the debtor must file a contesting action within 30-days after judgment recording. They additionally must record a lis pendens. Once the debtor accomplishes these tasks, the court will issue a stay of enforcement concerning the action to domesticate an out of state judgment in Florida.
If the debtor can prove a valid reason for the court to stay the judgment enforcement, then the court will stay enforcement for an appropriate period of time.
Pending appeal affords the debtor a chance to stop collection while the appeal proceeds through a foreign court. However, if a Florida court determines that the prior court lacked jurisdiction, or that the debtor did not possess a fair opportunity to litigate the jurisdictional circumstances, then the creditor cannot domesticate an out of state judgment in Florida by law.
Florida state law provides a clear process to enforce and domesticate an out of state judgment in Florida. It additionally offers protections for Florida debtors against judgment enforcement and domestication lacking jurisdiction, as well as appeal in another jurisdiction’s court system.
The Law Offices of Paul A. Humbert, P.L.
Do you wield an out of state judgment that you need to migrate to the Miami legal system? Do you need to track down a judgment debtor that relocated to another jurisdiction?
The Law Offices of Paul A. Humbert, P.L. helps individuals and businesses alike with their legal circumstances. We cultivate plans and strategies to assist our clients and achieve the best possible outcomes in court.
If you previously obtained a judgment in your case, this may feel like a great victory. However, in many cases, there is still much work you need to do. We find that even when a debtor wants to repay their debt, sometimes they experience difficulties with repayment. Under other circumstances, these individuals will simply not repay what your company is owed.
Our legal team is experienced in both defending against and collecting foreign judgments for our clients. We represent small businesses and their owners, as well as large corporations and financial institutions that enlist our services.
For more information on how we can help domesticate an out of state judgment in Florida, contact The Law Offices of Paul A. Humbert, P.L. We can provide you with experienced, educated guidance to assist your judgment enforcement efforts in the Miami area. We also extend these services on a national level whenever necessary.
Our firm achieves optimal successes for our clients both at the litigating table, in addition to inside the courtroom. We quickly determine your case’s strengths and weaknesses while formulating the best possible strategy for success.
Once we successfully domesticate an out of state judgment in Florida for you, our Miami firm can then help you begin the debt collection process. This ensures you adhere to every step and regulation concerning Florida state law.