Great news for Creditors! Up to 20 years to enforce a domesticated foreign judgment
Over 30 years ago, Florida enacted the Florida Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (FEFJA) providing a simplified procedure for domesticating foreign judgments. In other words, FEFJA allows a judgment from any other US state or the US federal government to be recognized and enforced as if it were a Florida judgment. Until recently, Florida creditors remained uncertain as to one crucial aspect of this important mechanism – what is the “expiration date” of a domesticated foreign judgment?
To understand the implications of this issue, we must look to the applicable statute of limitations. Under Florida law, the expiration date for a judgment or decree issued by a Florida court is 20 years. Fla. Stat. 95.11(1). Contrarily, a judgment or decree of any court of the United States, any other state or territory in the United States, or a foreign country, expires after only five years. Fla. Stat. 95.11(2). Therefore, the question as to which of these time limitations apply to a domesticated foreign judgment clearly bears far-reaching consequences.