Domestication of Sister State with Non-Monetary Judgments

The SSMJA is clearly more efficient to enforce money judgments in sister states. But an independent civil action (i.e. a new civil filing) is the only way that a sister state non-monetary judgment may be enforced (with the exception of child custody and visitation orders, which are enforced generally under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act).

Thus, separate and new lawsuits in California are required to enforce sister state non-monetary judgments. As with sister state monetary judgments, the action may only be legitimately defended upon certain specified and proven grounds: (1) the most common: the sister state court (that entered the judgment) lacked either subject matter or personal jurisdiction over the defendant; (2) there is an appeal of the judgment pending in the sister state; (3) the sister state court has granted a stay of enforcement; (4) the judgment was obtained by fraud; (5) the judgment has been satisfied; or (6) there is a motion to vacate the judgment pending in the sister state.

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