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Have you won a lawsuit against a defendant outside of California and are seeking to collect against the defendant who is in California? Alternatively, have you won a lawsuit in California state court, but the defendant and his assets reside out of state? In either case, you may run into challenges in actually collecting the financial recovery you are owed in your judgment. But help is available for registering and enforcing “sister-state” judgments. At The Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz, Inc. in Pasadena, we have decades of experience in helping plaintiffs recover the full judgments they are owed by defendants, both in-state and out-of-state, through the sister-state judgment registration and enforcement process.
While all 50 states have their own separate court systems, under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US Constitution, state courts must honor the judgments made by courts in other states, unless they were obtained by fraud or some other procedural error. Furthermore, although an out-of-state court might have had jurisdiction over a California defendant to find that party liable for financial damages in a judgment, that court might not have had jurisdiction over the defendant’s California assets to enforce that judgment.
Putting those two concepts together, however, if you win a lawsuit against a California defendant in another state court, such as Texas or Arizona, you can enforce that judgment in a California state court. This process involves our firm registering (or “domesticating”) the judgment in California by filing a new civil lawsuit and then asking the court to enforce your out-of-state judgment.
Although a defendant can mount a defense to this action, such actions are usually successful and will allow us to take steps to collect your judgment against a California judgment debtor through strategies such as seizing assets and levying property. As litigators with over three decades of courtroom experience, we have the skills to effectively and efficiently collect on your behalf in out-of-state lawsuits.
At The Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz, Inc. in Pasadena, CA, we have over 30 years of experience in representing individuals and business entities across Southern California in winning favorable outcomes at trial as well as in settlements and negotiations. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss registering and/or enforcing a state court judgment in California or elsewhere.