Domestication of Foreign Judgments in Florida

If you have an uncollected foreign judgment in your favor (from another state or another country) and the defendant is a person who resides in Florida or a company that is domiciled in Florida, there are ways you may still collect the money owed to you.

Under the Florida Domestication of Foreign Judgments Act, a judgment issued in another state can be domesticated in a Florida county court. This means the Florida court recognizes and can enforce the judgment.

When the judgment has been issued by a foreign country, it can be domesticated under Florida‘s Uniform Out-of-country Foreign Money-Judgment Recognition Act. In order to be eligible for domestication, the judgment must be final and enforceable in the country where it was issued. The judgment may not be enforceable if certain instances occurred, such as if the court was not impartial, did not adhere to due process, or did not have jurisdiction over the case.

The Plaintiff or Plaintiff’s counsel must file a certified copy of the judgment and an affidavit with the county clerk of courts. The clerk will file and record the judgment and affidavit in the public record, and then they will mail a notice to the defendant. The defendant then has 30 days to respond if they wish to file an action challenging the validity of the judgment.

If no objection to the judgment is filed, it is treated the same way as if the judgment was made in a Florida court. Then the courts can place liens on any real property located in the county of recording.

 

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