Enforcement of Ontario Judgment in US (U.S.A and American States)
We sometimes act for clients in litigation against defendants located in an American state, or having assets located in one or more U.S. states. Other times we are retained simply to assess and / or seek enforcement of an Ontario or other Canadian judgment in an U.S. state.
Accordingly, the consideration sometimes arises whether a money judgment obtained in a court of Ontario or Canada is readily enforceable in a particular US state.
Neither Ontario nor Canada is a party to any bilateral enforcement of money judgement treaty or convention with the U.S. or any particular state in the U.S.. However many U.S. states have enacted statutes concerning the enforcement of foreign (including Ontario and Canada) money-judgments in that state.
Since this is largely a matter of foreign law, we consult with a wide circle of US qualified attorneys, to obtain their opinion on the enforceability of an Ontario or a Canadian money judgment in the state in which they are qualified. This may include a consideration on the enforceability (application and/or exemption) at common law or under statutory provisions.
In this regard, we are often referred to the two similarly-named Uniform Acts promulgated by the Uniform Law Commission (The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Law), namely, the similarly-named:
1962 Uniform Foreign Money-Judgments Recognition Act
2005 Uniform Foreign-Country Money Recognition Act
(click above to access the text on the Uniform Law Commission Website)
The 1962 Uniform Foreign Money-Judgments Recognition Act is described by the Uniform Law Commission to have been enacted in these states:
Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and the Virgin Islands.
The 2005 Uniform Foreign-Country Money Recognition Act is described by the Uniform Law Commission to have been enacted in these states:
Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Hawaii, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama.
We obtain in each case the advice of an attorney competent in the laws of the target jurisdiction and the aforementioned is neither intended to be nor should it be relied upon as an opinion of the laws mentioned therein or their applicability.
If you have a case requiring a legal opinion concerning enforceability of a judgment in Ontario or Canada, or obtaining a judgment in Ontario or Canada, please contact us for an initial consultation. If your case requires consideration of the enforceability of an existing Ontario or Canadian judgment in an American state, contact us for an initial consultation and we can assist you in the selection of a suitably qualified US attorney.
Comments & Opinions by Gilbertson Davis LLP lawyers and staff on its Blog, or in media interviews, appearances or publications, or in professional publications, are personal to them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Firm or anyone at the Firm other than the individual expressing those comments or opinions.