If you have obtained a judgment against a Texas resident or a business with assets in Texas, then you can seek to enforce your judgment in Texas under a procedure known as domestication. A foreign judgment is any judgment obtained in a court outside of the State of Texas. Likewise, a foreign court is any court located outside of the State of Texas.
Texas has adopted the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (UEFJA) to allow people and companies who have obtained foreign judgments to enforce their judgments in Texas without the necessity of having a separate trial for enforcement in Texas. The Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code provides that a foreign judgment properly filed in Texas in a court of competent jurisdiction should be treated in the same manner as the judgment would have been treated in the foreign court.
The UEFJA allows a more streamlined method of enforcing foreign judgments as opposed to bringing a separate suit to enforce the judgment. However, enforcement under the UEFJA is not guaranteed. In order for a foreign judgment to be enforceable in Texas, it must be entitled to Full Faith and Credit. Essentially, this means that the foreign judgment must be final and must have been obtained in a way that respects the defendant’s Due Process rights. The party who obtained the foreign judgment must have properly served the defendant according to the laws of the foreign court and the defendant must have been subject to the personal jurisdiction of the foreign court; or the foreign judgment may be found to not be entitled to Full Faith and Credit and therefore unenforceable in Texas.
As previously mentioned the foreign judgment must also be final in order to be enforceable in Texas. A foreign judgment may not be final if it involves multiple defendants and the judgment does not fully divide the judgment’s liability among all defendants. The lack of a foreign judgment’s finality will result in enforcement being stayed in Texas until such time as the foreign judgment becomes final. In addition to a lack of finality, execution of a foreign judgment may be stayed if an appeal or stay of execution has been filed in the foreign court.
A qualified Texas attorney can help you execute and collect on your foreign judgment. Call the Dallas Law Office of Pete Rowe to begin domesticating your foreign judgment today. Attorney Pete Rowe can get your domestication documents filed and begin the discovery process to locate your judgment debtor’s assets and sources of income, which may be used to satisfy your foreign judgment.
If you find that a foreign judgment has been taken against you and the plaintiff is attempting to domesticate the foreign judgment, then call the Law Office of Pete Rowe today. There may be defenses available to you that will allow you to stay enforcement of the foreign judgment in Texas or you may be able to vacate the plaintiff’s domestication filing altogether. If there are defenses available to you, attorney Pete Rowe will aggressively defend your rights against any attempt to enforce the foreign judgment against you.