Enforcing An Out-of-State Judgment in California

US Map Out of State Enforcment

As a Commercial Collection Attorney with experience in sister-state judgments, I’ll help you understand the steps involved in enforcing an out of state judgment from another state within California.

Understanding Sister State Judgment

A Sister State Judgment, as defined under California law, is a money judgment, decree, or order from a court in any other U.S. state Sister State Judgments do not include family support orders as defined in Section 155 of the Family Code, orders for injunctions, real property determinations or equitable relief.  This is about clean, clear money owed from a debtor to a creditor. 

The Enforcement Process

Enforcing a Sister State Money judgment in California involves several key steps:

Domestication of the Judgment:

  • We need an “exemplified” or “Authenticated copy of the judgment from the state where it originated.
  • We research the post-judgment interest rate as per the originating state’s specific code section.  An amount at that rate is added until there is a California Judgment.  Then the Judgment accrues interest at 10%

Filing in California Courts:

  • If the debtor resides in California, we file in the county where the debtor resides.
  • If the debtor doesn’t live in California but has assets here, we file in the county where the assets are located.

After filing, the debtor must be served if the debtor lives in California 

  • The Sister State Judgment is entered but does not become enforceable until 30-40 days after the debtor is served.  The debtor is served with copy of the Notice of Entry of Judgment on Sister-State Judgment and the Application for Entry of Sister State Judgment.
  • The debtor may protest within the 30-day period. The grounds to protest are not based on the facts of the debt.  They pertain to whether the debtor was served in the home state, whether the debt has already been paid, and whether the judgment is authentic.      

Effective Enforcement Strategies

After successfully domesticating a Sister State Judgment in California, it must be collected.

There are several routine strategies we can employ to enforce the judgment.  They include:

Wage Garnishment

We can seek to garnish the debtor’s wages, which involves the Sheriff telling the employer to redirect a portion of the debtor’s earnings to pay off the debt.

Real Property Liens

We will place a lien on the debtor’s known real property in California. When the property is sold or refinanced,  the debt is usually paid from the proceeds.

Assignment Orders

An assignment order, served by a sheriff, directs a third party that owes money to the debtor (like a tenant or a customer) to pay the Sheriff instead.

Charging Orders

For debtors with interests in partnerships or LLCs, we can seek charging orders to intercept distributions that would normally go to the debtor.

Seizure of Personal Property

In certain cases, we can arrange for the seizure and sale of personal property belonging to the debtor.

Why Choose Greenbaum Law Group?

At Greenbaum Law Group, we understand the complexities of these legal procedures and are equipped to handle them efficiently. Our approach is tailored to each case. We try the most effective strategy to enforce your judgment.

Contact Greenbaum Law Group Today

Enforcing a sister state judgment in California requires a thorough understanding of the legal process and strategic enforcement actions. With Greenbaum Law Group, you have lawyers well-versed in these complexities and ready to vigorously pursue recovery.

For more detailed guidance or to discuss your specific case, reach out to us at 1-800-519-0562 or visit our website at www.collectionlaw.com. Let us help you enforce your sister state judgment effectively and efficiently.