Answer: Your judgment is only good within the boundaries of your state. However, the Sister State Money-Judgment Act allows you register the judgment in California so that you can use California law to go after any assets the judgment debtor owns in California.
To register your judgment in California, you will need to complete judicial council forms EJ-105 Application for Entry of Judgment on Sister-State Judgment and form EJ-110 Notice of Entry of Judgment on Sister-State Judgment. You will need to attached a certified copy of the sister-state judgment to the application for entry of judgment. A declaration showing how you calculated the post-judgment interest is required as well. Most California counties will have additional local procedures, including the requirement to submit a proposed California judgment.
Once the court enters the judgment, you must serve the Notice of Entry of Judgment on the judgment debtor. Enforcement of the judgment is automatically stayed until 30 days after service of the Notice of Entry of Judgment. The judgment debtor has 30 days to challenge the judgment.
The most common challenge is that the sister-state court lacked jurisdiction for some reason. If the judgment debtor does not challenge the judgment, then the judgment creditor can take whatever steps are necessary to collect on the judgment. Click here for an article on the various methods to collect California judgments.
Our office has domesticated a number of sister-state judgments in California. Feel free to contact us if you need further assistance.
About the Author: Carl H. Starrett II has been a licensed attorney since 1993 and is a member in good standing with the California State Bar and the San Diego County Bar Association. Mr. Starrett practices in the areas of bankruptcy, business litigation, construction, corporate planning and debt collection.