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  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: November 2009

I - Overview



This part of the guide has two purposes: to walk the U.S. practitioner through the procedural steps and strategies for: (1) converting a foreign country judgment to a domestic civil judgment; and (2) enforcing and executing the judgment. While largely the same throughout the states, the exact procedures for conversion, enforcement, and recognition vary from state to state. The laws of California and New York serve as principal examples, but practitioners in other states should refer to their states' versions of the uniform acts, where codified. In states that have not adopted and codified the uniform acts, practitioners should refer to other recognition statutes and common law.

An important distinction regarding the uniform acts must be drawn at the outset. There are three relevant uniform acts that will be discussed. The Uniform Foreign Money-Judgments Recognition Act (abbreviated as UFMJRA, but hereinafter Recognition Act) proscribes procedures through which a foreign country judgment is converted into a judgment of a U.S. court and receives the same status as a sister-state judgment, thereby becoming enforceable in other U.S. fora under the Full Faith and Credit Clause. The 1964 Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (abbreviated as UEFJA, hereinafter Enforcement Act) creates a registration system for the enforcement of sister-state judgments which, in conjunction with the Recognition Act, can provide for more streamlined enforcement of foreign country judgments in jurisdictions that have adopted both acts.