Domesticating a Judgment in Florida

Domesticating a judgment

What does it mean to domesticate a judgment? 

When someone domesticates a judgment, it means they bring a judgment that was tried in one state and bring it to another state, typically the state where they reside. In Florida, this process is governed by Florida Statute § 55.501. Florida courts can also domesticate a judgment that has been entered in another country, under Florida Statute § 55.601, so long as that judgment was final in the country that initially issued it. 

How to domesticate a judgment in Florida

In order to domesticate a judgment in Florida, one must file a certified copy of the judgment they are trying to bring to Florida–otherwise known as the “foreign judgment”–to the county clerk of their desired court. If they approve it, the clerk will record the foreign judgment and provide notice of that recording to the judgment debtor. The judgment creditor (or their legal representation) should also send a copy to the debtor. 

Under Florida Statute § 55.509, after the judgment debtor receives notice, they have the option to contest “the jurisdiction of the court which entered the foreign judgment.” Under this provision, the debtor has thirty (30) days to challenge the judgment’s validity. If no challenge is made, or if the debtor does so in an untimely manner, the judgment creditor can move forward and collect the appropriate assets from the debtor, such as bank accounts, personal property, and more. This domesticated judgment now operates as if it had been originally filed in the home state, or in this case, the state of Florida. 

In order to ensure that each step is followed properly, creditors may wish to obtain an attorney in the state of Florida if they are seeking to domesticate a judgment there. 

EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

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Eric Gros-Dubois

Eric P. Gros-Dubois founded EPGD Business Law in 2013 and is the current head of the firm’s corporate, estate planning, and tax practice, and manages the firm’s Washington D.C. office. With a JD and MBA, and a specialization in finance, Eric is able to step back and view the legal world through a commercial lens while also acting as a trusted business advisor for his clients. He does his best to be solutions oriented, and tries to think like a business owner, not just a lawyer.


*The following comments are not intended to be treated as legal advice. The answer to your question is limited to the basic facts presented. Additional details may heavily alter our assessment and change the answer provided. For a more thorough review of your question please contact our office for a consultation.

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