Can I enforce an order or judgment made in another state or country?
JUL 20, 2022

Florida is quite a cosmopolitan state. Our population is made up of members from various parts of Latin America, and recently, after the pandemic, many people decided to make the Sunshine State their home. Knowing how to enforce a judgment or an order from a court that is not from the State of Florida is a fairly frequent question that the firm receives, and to which we are going to try to answer in today’s blog.

The explanations in this blog constitute the current law of the state of Florida. If you reside in another state, please contact an attorney licensed in your state for more information.

Any order or sentence that has not been issued by a Florida court is considered a foreign order or sentence, and to enforce it in this State, a “domestication” process will be necessary. This foreign order or judgment may be entered by a court in another state within the United States, or by a court in a country other than the United States.

In the first case, that the order or sentence was issued by a court of the United States, in any other state, the Constitution establishes that the states grant full faith and credit to the orders issued by United States courts. However, these orders or sentences may be modified if the state laws are different. Such is the case of family cases, in which the amount to be paid in Child Support could be modified to adapt to the parameters established in Florida.

In the second case, that the order or sentence was issued by a court outside the United States, the “domestication” process is different. In family cases, particularly, it will be necessary to file a “domestication” petition. It will be necessary to obtain a certified copy of the sentence or order that is intended to be enforced in the United States and that it be translated if it is in a language other than English. As additional requirements, the person filing the petition must show that this order or sentence is not in the process of appeal, or subject to any other process in another jurisdiction; that both parties received service from the process, and that they also had the opportunity to defend or present their case in the forum where it took place; and that at least one of the parties had its legal domicile in the country from which the order or sentence is intended to be domesticated.

The process is complex, and to enforce these orders and sentences, it will be necessary to file the petition satisfying all the requirements described above.

If you need help domesticating your order or judgment, don't hesitate to contact us. In Y. Morejon Attorney, P.A. we can help you. The first consultation is free. Here, your problem is our problem.

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