When you obtain a judgment against a debtor in a state other than Florida, you may wonder how to enforce that judgment in Florida. In such situations, you must take the necessary steps to ensure that the out-of-state judgment is enforceable in Florida. This process is called “domestication” of the out-of-state judgment.
The Florida Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act governs the domestication of an out-of-state judgment. The Act provides a streamlined procedure for the domestication of out-of-state judgments, which makes it easier for creditors to enforce their judgments.
How the domestication process works
The process of domesticating an out-of-state judgment begins by filing a certified copy of the out-of-state judgment with the clerk of the court in the county where the debtor’s assets are located or where the debtor resides.
Along with the certified copy of the judgment, the creditor must file an affidavit stating that the judgment is final, it has not been satisfied and is enforceable in the jurisdiction it was originally rendered.
The clerk will then issue a notice of filing to the debtor. The debtor has 30 days to file a motion to set aside the judgment. If they don’t, the creditor may file a motion for summary judgment, which asks the court to rule in favor of the creditor without a trial. This officially kicks off the collection proceedings.
Get the proper guidance
Domestication of an out-of-state judgment can help you recover outstanding dues by implementing collection methods such as garnishments or liens on real property. This may be impossible if the judgment is not legally recognized in Florida.
If you have any concerns or questions about how everything works, it is best to seek informed legal counsel on what to do to protect your financial interests.