Sunday, June 9, 2024

How To Enforce A Judgment In New York

Winning A Judgment May Be Only Half The Battle Collecting It The Other Half

How To Enforce Foreign Judgments in the USA & How US based Agencies Can Reach Offshore Activity Of

When you win a Judgment in City Court, the Court sends a Notice of Judgment to the parties. The losing party, the Debtor, has thirty days to pay the Judgment. The winning party, the Creditor, should first contact the losing party, the Debtor, to attempt to collect the judgment. If the Debtor fails to pay, the winning party, the Creditor, may take steps to collect or execute the Judgment including:

In some instances, you may not be able to collect on a judgment. These include if a judgment debtor has filed for bankruptcy or if the judgment debtor has filed an appeal and has stayed the judgment.

Iii Instances Where Foreign Judgments Were Not Recognized

There are limited examples where Canadian courts have refused to recognize and enforce foreign judgments. In what follows we highlight three recent examples where Canadian courts have refused foreign judgments.

First, in Cortés v Yorkton Securities Inc.,23 the plaintiff, an Ecuadorian resident, brought an action to enforce a judgment in his favour by an Ecuadorian court. The British Columbia Supreme Court refused to enforce the foreign judgment on the grounds that there was a denial of natural justice specifically, the defendant was not given adequate notice of the claim.24 Ultimately, the court concluded that the plaintiff failed to take effective steps to provide the defendants with notice of the action, which amounted to a breach of natural justice.

While an example of a Canadian court refusing to enforce a foreign judgment, the facts in Cortés evidence a breach of natural justice, albeit involving unusual circumstances.

Second, in Canadian Standards Assn. v Solid Applied Technologies Ltd.,25 the Ontario Superior Court of Justice refused to enforce an Israeli courts judgment as it found the Israeli court was not entitled to take jurisdiction, and the judgment at issue from the foreign court was not final.26

Ultimately, the British Columbia Court of Appeal held that the real and substantial connection relied upon by the Texas court in assuming jurisdiction was too weak and the court refused to recognize the default judgment.29

Current Dollar Amount Of Payments Statutorily Exempt From Enforcement Of Judgments

Pursuant to Subparagraph of Subdivision of Section 5205 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules, the Superintendent of Financial Services is required beginning on April 1, 2012, and at each three year interval thereafter, to update the current dollar amount of exemption from enforcement of judgments under New York Civil Practice Law and Rules Sections 5205, 5222, 5222, 5230 and 5232.

The new dollar amount of exemption from enforcement of money judgments is $3,000. This amount is effective April 1, 2021 and shall not apply to cases commenced before April 1, 2021. The next adjustment is scheduled for April 1, 2024*.

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How Long Does It Take To Enforce A Foreign Judgment

Ten days after a foreign judgment is filed and notice has been given to the judgment debtor, the creditor may begin enforcement of the judgment under the statutory procedures of the state in which the foreign judgment has been registered. The debtor may request a stay or be granted denial of having the foreign judgment recorded.

To meet the burden of proof for recognition of foreign judgments in New York courts, we must file an affidavit along with the certified copy, stating: we should attach the name and last known address of the judgment debtor. There is an extra added wrinkle if your foreign judgment is a default judgment.

Collection Of Legal Fees

Your Judgment Creditor

We have been pursuing the recovery of legal fees for decades and are familiar with all of the defenses clients raise to justify non-payment, especially the unreasonableness of hourly charges. Our long experience in litigation allows us to appreciate what our fellow attorneys must spend in their own practices and inspires us to pursue their claims vigorously.

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What Happens After A Judgment Is Entered Against You

What Happens After a Judgment Is Entered Against You? The court enters a judgment against you if your creditor wins their claim or you fail to show up to court. You should receive a notice of the judgment entry in the mail. The judgment creditor can then use that court judgment to try to collect money from you.

The judgment is considered a lien against your property, including any real estate that you have, in the state in which the judgment is filed. In other words, a judgment filed in California has no bearing upon property located in New York unless the creditor takes the California judgment to a New York court and has it filed there as well.

Taking Legal Action Against A Judgment Debtor

After a judge or jury issues a judgment in a case, an official Notice of Judgment will be issued to both the defending and complaining parties. This notice includes the amount to be paid to the plaintiff as well as information about how to collect the award. Unfortunately, the court systems in the United States have no means of enforcing judgments or compelling defendants to pay themselves. Therefore, it is primarily up to the plaintiff to contact the defendant and collect the award. However, not every defendant will pay voluntarily, which can make matters complicated for the plaintiff. Fortunately there are legal actions to be taken in order to compel an unwilling defendant, also known as the judgment debtor, to pay what they owe.

With the assistance of a New York debt collection attorney, you can contact an enforcement officer about your situation. As the judgment creditor, you can provide the officer with a property or income execution to collect the money authorized by the court judgment because the judgment debtor is unwilling to pay. The execution will allow the officer to seize property or attach to the debtors wages in order to have the judgment paid.

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How Long Do Judgments Last In New York Stateby Ryan M Poplawski Law Clerk

Have you recently discovered for the first time that a judgment was entered against you for an old debt that you may have had? If so, then it would certainly be in your best interest to consult with an attorney to determine whether you can challenge the judgment or settle your debt. Simply ignoring the judgment may wind up costing you much more in the long run as interest continues to accrue. Furthermore, failing to proactively address the judgment may cause you tons of heartache and anxiety once the judgment-creditor figures out where you work or where you keep your bank accounts.

It can very tempting sometimes to simply do nothing and hope that your judgment-creditor will leave you along. However, chances are that your creditor did not go through all the effort of obtaining a judgment just to give up now. Plus, given the laws of New York State, deadlines for enforcing that judgment are very generous for the creditor. How generous? Lets discuss.You may be surprised to learn that money judgments in New York are enforceable for a period of twenty years. That judgment can be enforced against any property you have that can be assigned or transferred .

When you realize that a judgment lasts for twenty years and accrues interest all along the way, it can be pretty daunting. Thats why its very important to challenge the judgment head-on.

V Jurisdiction And Venue


Despite the nature of a dispute, enforcement proceedings in Canada generally lie with the Superior Court of each province. There do not appear to be any exceptions. For example, in Canada, intellectual property matters are generally heard by the Federal Court of Canada. However, in a case that may have begun as an intellectual property dispute in New York, the subject matter of an application to enforce a foreign judgment is not intellectual property, but rather the enforcement of a foreign judgment in Ontario. As such, enforcement proceedings are not advanced before the Federal Court, but rather the provinces Superior Court.

In Litecubes v. Northern Light,31 the British Columbia Supreme Court recognized a foreign judgment in which the subject matter was copyright infringement when it was before the United States Federal District Court. After the plaintiffs obtained judgment against the defendants in the United States, their judgment was recognized by the provinces Superior Court and the application for enforcement did not have to be brought in Federal Court.

  • Note: judgment creditors are parties to which a debt is owing by way of a judgment, whereas judgment debtors are those who a judgment has been obtained against in favour of a judgment creditor.
  • Great America Leasing Corp. v Yates, 68 O.R. 225 at para 1.
  • Beals v Saldanha, 2003 SCC 72, at para 41 .
  • RRO 1990, Reg 194.
  • Beals at para 29.
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    How Long Does It Take For A Judgment To Expire

    Usually, judgments are valid for several years before they expire or lapse. In some states, a judgment is effective between five to seven years. In other states, like New York, it can be twenty years or longer. the later date of either event. (To learn more about judgments, including how creditors get them, see What Is a Money Judgment?

    Will Your Us Judgment Be Enforced Abroad

    Generally, U.S. judgments cannot be enforced in a foreign country without first being recognized by a court in that foreign country. The recognition and enforcement of U.S. judgments depend not only on the domestic law of the foreign country, but also on the principles of comity, reciprocity, and res judicata.

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    Can Bankruptcy Stop Judgment Enforcement

    Some debts can be discharged through bankruptcy. During the course of bankruptcy, creditors must stop attempting to collect on debts.

    Bankruptcy is a complex area of the law, however, and not all debt is eliminated. In New York, for example, a judgment remains on the record and can be used as a lien against future property for 10 years. The amount you can recover will depend on individual circumstances, including the type of bankruptcy filed, whether your debt is secured or unsecured and other factors.

    Exemption From Application To The Satisfaction Of Money Judgments

    What Happens If I Win A Lawsuit In New York And The ...

    Current dollar amount of exemption from application to the satisfaction of money judgments under New York civil practice law and rules sections 5205 and 5206 and exemptions in bankruptcy under debtor and creditor law sections 282 and 283*:

    The following reflects the updates to the dollar amount of exemptions from the satisfaction of money judgments under civil practice law and rules sections 5205 and 5206 and under debtor and creditor law sections 282 and 283*:

    Statutory Sections

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    Seizing Personal Property Or Assets

    An execution issued out of a City Court may be levied against, that is, used to seize, only personal property of the Judgment Debtor . The enforcement officer of City Court is the County Sheriff .

    Before the County Sheriff can seize personal property or assets of the Debtor, the Creditor must first identify the property to be seized. To learn the Debtor’s assets, a Creditor may request an INFORMATION SUBPOENA from the City Court for a fee. An INFORMATION SUBPOENA is a legal document that directs the Debtor to answer certain questions regarding the existence and location of assets as well as employment and wage information.

    Upon the filing of a request for an Information Subpoena and payment of the filing fee, the City Court Clerk will provide you with the Subpoena, which consists of two sets of Questions and a cover letter. You must mail the cover letter, both sets of Questions, and a prepaid, addressed return envelope to the individual or institution being asked to answer the questions. It is recommended that you mail the forms by certified mail, return receipt requested, so that you can provide proof of mailing to the Court in the event that the completed Questions are not returned to you. The individual or institution directed to answer the questions must do so within seven days of receipt.

    What To Do If The Defendant Does Not Pay Voluntarily

    If the Judgment Debtor, the party who lost during the trial, does not pay you voluntarily, you may contact an enforcement officer. The enforcement officer will either be a Sheriff who works for the County or a City Marshal who is independent. For a list of enforcement officers visit the Resources page.

    Tell the enforcement officer that you are the Judgment Creditor , and that you would like the officer to request an execution from the Court. An execution is a court order that allows the enforcement officer to take money or property from the Judgment Debtor in order to have your Judgment paid. Before the enforcement officer asks the court for an execution, the enforcement officer must know what assets the Judgment Debtor has and where they can be found. You must provide this information to the enforcement officer.

    Also be aware that you will have to pay certain fees for the enforcement officer’s services. If you settle the case after hiring an enforcement officer, you must pay the enforcement officer 5% of the settlement amount plus any additional fees. Visit this webpage for the Order of Execution form and instructions.

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    Ii Defences To Recogniition And Enforcement

    In addition to challenging the jurisdiction of the foreign court, defendants are limited to three narrow defences available in the common law to attempt to resist the recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment: fraud denial of natural justice and public policy concerns. Importantly, a defendant is not entitled to raise merits-based defences that were subject to adjudication by the foreign court.

    Once the real and substantial connection test is found to apply to a foreign judgment, the court will then examine the scope of the defences available to a defendant in contesting the recognition of such a judgment.13 These limited defences were established by the common law to guard against potential unfairness in the recognition and enforcement of judgments but are narrow in their application.14

    • The Defence of Fraud

    Courts are cautious not to allow a defendant to attempt to relitigate an action by raising the defence of fraud. The court draws a distinction between intrinsic fraud and extrinsic fraud. Extrinsic fraud is the type of fraud that misleads the court, foreign or domestic, into believing that it has jurisdiction over the cause of action such a fraud will justify setting aside the judgment.15

    Ultimately, the defence of fraud to an application to recognize and enforce a foreign judgment is limited and narrow and is not likely of assistance to the matter at hand.

    • Denial of Natural Justice
    • Public Policy
    • Challenges to the merits are generally barred

    In New York A Judgment Lien Can Be Attached To Real Or Personal Property To Collect A Court Judgment

    Breaking Down Borders: Finding Assets to Satisfy Judgments in a Post-Koehler World

    In a civil court case, after a judge or jury hands down a verdict — or after a court-approved settlement — a judgment is entered by the court. As part of a typical judgment, the court orders the payment of money from one person to another. But the person who owes the money doesn’t always pay up. A judgment lien is one way to ensure that the person who won the judgment gets what he or she is owed. A judgment lien gives the creditor the right to be paid a certain amount of money from proceeds from the sale of the debtor’s property.

    So how do judgment liens work in New York? Read on to understand the rules.

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    New York Enforcement Mechanisms

    Under New York law, any federal or state judgment in the countrycan be rendered a New York judgment by a simple filing procedure,after which the judgment is treated for all purposes, includingenforcement, as if it were originally a New York judgment. Onceconverted, the judgment may be enforced against a judgmentdebtor’s property, wherever located, as long as the debtor or”garnishee” has a branch or office in New York or is otherwisesubject to New York jurisdiction. The asset itself may be in aforeign jurisdiction.

    Further, New York law makes such enforcement extremely easy byrequiring only a New York attorney to sign and serve an exparte restraining notice or execution on the New York branchor office.

    New York law also allows, with a few exceptions, execution uponany intangible interest which could be assigned or transferred,whether it constitutes a future or present interest and whether itis vested or not. Thus, for example, if a judgment debtor possessesrights under a contract, but the contract obligor’s performanceis not yet due, the judgment creditor may step into the judgmentdebtor’s shoes and receive the benefit of the obligor’sfuture performance. Interestingly, under New York law, a typicalnon-assignment clause in a contract does not present an obstacle tosuch enforcement.

    Why Rely On The Judgment And Fee Collection Lawyers At Warner & Scheuerman

    With a deep understanding of the law and a relentless commitment to protecting the financial interests of our clients, our full-time, on-staff investigative team is ready to help you locate assets and collect your money. When you reach out to our New York City law office, you will have an opportunity to consult with a lawyer who is prepared to:

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    New York Updates Law On Recognition Of Foreign Country Money Judgments To Bring In Line With Other Us Jurisdictions

    On June 11, 2021, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law a Uniform Foreign Country Money Judgments Act , amending New Yorks Uniform Foreign Country Money-Judgments Recognition Act of 1970 . The bill was designed to update and bring New Yorks existing legislation in line with the revisions proposed by the Uniform Law Commission in 2005. With this enactment, New York follows a growing number of U.S. states that have modernized their recognition acts over the last decade.

    As detailed herein, the 2021 Recognition Act both clarifies the procedural mechanisms and substantive arguments that litigants can invoke in a proceeding to recognize foreign country money judgments , while also significantly expanding the defenses to recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments available to defendants in New York. In particular, the substantive changes seek to ensure that the New York courts only recognize foreign judgments that have been procured through a fair and impartial process.

    I. Overview of Recognition of Foreign Judgments in the United States

    Law on Recognition of Foreign Judgments in the United States

    Data Source: Uniform Law Commission

    II. Overview of Recognition of Foreign Judgments in New York

    With the enactment of the 2021 Recognition Act, New York largely leaves intact the legal framework established by the 1970 Recognition Act while adopting the key updates from the 2005 Uniform Law:

    III. Implications of New Yorks 2021 Recognition Act

    S.B. S523A .

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