Domesticating Out-of-State Judgments in California

If your judgment debtor lives, works or owns property in California, consider immediately “domesticating” your out-of-state judgment in California.  Pursuant to the Sister State Money-Judgments Act, a money judgment obtained in another state may be quickly “converted” into a California judgment. The judgment may then be enforced as if it was originally entered in California.  See Code of Civil Procedure § 1710.10 et seq.

Often times debtors do not fear out-of-state judgments to the same extent they fear judgments entered in the state they reside.  This is because out-of-state judgments are essentially worthless in terms of collecting from the debtors’ assets located in a different state.  By domesticating the judgment, the debtor will know: (1) that you are aware of his residence, place of work, and/or assets, and (2) that you are actively taking steps to collect.

Once you have obtained your California judgment, it can be enforced in the same manner as a judgment originally entered in California.


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