Domesticating Sister-State


The federal Constitution provides that a judgment from a sister state (of the United States) is entitled to the same "full faith and credit" in every court within the United States as it has by law or usage in the court of the sister-state.

Sister State Judgments
If you win a lawsuit in another state and your debtor has assets in California, the judgment must first be domesticated. A judgment cannot be enforced in California until it is "domesticated" (or registered) in California as a California judgment in accordance with the Sister State MoneyJudgments Act (the "SSMJA") or by bringing an action to establish the judgment per Code of Civil Procedure 1913.

Federal Judgments
A final judgment for the recovery of money or property entered outside of California in any federal district court, bankruptcy court, circuit court of appeals, or in the Court of International Trade, may be enforced in California by registering it in a federal district in California.

Enforcement of a California Judgment Against Assets outside the State

Often, a debtor may attempt to shield his/her assets by hiding them outside of California. Other than a judgment for child or spousal support, a final money judgment rendered by a California court cannot be enforced against a debtor’s income or assets located in another state without first obtaining a judgment in that jurisdiction. This is done by “domesticating” the California judgment in the sister-state jurisdiction (generally in a manner similar to the way in which sister-state judgments are domesticated in California).

For Assistance Domesticating Judgments call the Law Offices of Paul Young today at 626-744-1838.