International Enforcement of Foreign Judgments
A judgment is considered foreign if the state or jurisdiction in which it is being enforced is different from the state of its origination. Every state follows a differing set of standards and regulations on how to enforce a foreign judgment. Luckily the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act provides a set standard for the enforcement of foreign judgments. When a judgment originates from within the borders of the United States there are no limitations to enforcement, however international enforcement of foreign judgments is entirely different.
Enforcing International Judgments in the United States
The UEFJA has no carriage whatsoever in the matter of international enforcement of foreign judgments. In most states, a foreign judgment can generally be enforced under the regulations laid out in the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act. This act stipulates that a state must recognize a foreign judgment so long as the judgment is a final and conclusive ruling that is enforceable in the country in which it was decided.
The first step in the enforcement of international judgments is to obtain a certified official record of the judgment, and then determine who is the concerning clerk of court. Then you will need a qualified representative from the U.S. State Department to certify the record. It goes without saying that the court will surely want a copy of the judgment in English, so finding a translator that you’re comfortable sharing this information with is vital.
The burden of proof is first placed on the creditor holding the judgment as it is up to them to show evidence that the judgment is valid, and not subject to appeal. This responsibility then shifts to the debtor to respond to and object to the judgment.
The court in which the judgment is being handed down must also be reputable. A judgment passed down by an unknown court in Tanzania is highly unlikely to be domesticated and enforced. However, a judgment coming from an Israeli tribunal is much more likely to be moved forward. The standard of legal practice and justice from the foreign country will guide the judge’s decision on whether or not the foreign judgment should be both domesticated and enforced.
When enforcing international judgments in the United States, the courts must consider the foreign court’s original handling of the case, as well as the limitations on the court to oversee the satisfaction of the foreign judgment. Some courts on the local level may not be equipped with the proper resources or jurisdiction to satisfy the judgment.
There is no better way than international enforcement of foreign judgments to collect on a foreign debt. If an individual or entity who owes a creditor a debt and has returned to the U.S., you may feel as though you have little recourse to reclaim what is rightfully yours. Using domestication and enforcement of international judgments, you can have a viable option at your disposal for reclaiming the debt without having to file another lawsuit and start the process all over again.
Enforcement of International Judgments in Florida
The state of Florida has adopted a useful tool to aid creditors and their litigators in international enforcement of international judgments. This tool is known as the Uniform Out of Country Foreign Money Judgment Recognition Act and is applicable to Florida, and 31 other states who have adopted the stipulations for their needs. It is important to remember that the judgment must be recognized or domesticated by the State of Florida court system before it can be enforced.
Enforcement of US Judgments Abroad
It is a far more difficult process to enforce a judgment ruled on in the US in another country. Many countries’ judicial systems differ greatly from the US in what is considered their jurisdiction. As an example, a nonresident of a particular state can be charged with a secondary states jurisdiction whereas many other countries prohibit this practice.
Additionally, a judgment relating to a large punitive monetary amount is nearly always rejected outside of the United States. Many countries with civil law systems consider the practice of punitive damages counterintuitive to their public policy and practice.
Enforcing a US judgment abroad will likely be subjected to severe analysis by the subjective country. The same obstacles to enforcing foreign judgments in the US apply to US judgments abroad. Therefore, if you foresee an international enforcement of foreign judgments into a foreign country, it would be a prudent idea to ensure that the lawsuit promotes an overall notion of justice as opposed to a monetary gain.
The Intervention of a Qualified Attorney
The situation of international judgment domestication can seem like an unconquerable endeavor, but it is entirely possible for a qualified legal practitioner to do so. The Law Offices of Paul A. Humbert, P.L., are bolstered with the legal experience and knowledge to successfully collect judgments, both domestic and abroad.
When seeking domestication and enforcement of foreign judgments, or international enforcement of foreign judgments, a legal professional with the skill and capabilities to navigate the often sensitive legal waters can be vital in an ultimately positive outcome of reclaiming your lost property.
If an individual or business owes you a debt and has relocated abroad, or if an international entity has found themselves on US soil, the consultation and intervention from our legal team can make all the difference in an expedited and efficient resolution to your circumstances. Contact our law offices today to see how we may be able to help with your situation.