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Georgia Attorney for Domestication of a Judgment

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    Many businesses do their business in many different states. Indeed, having stores or locations in many neighboring states or even at the national level is a mark of some financial success. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of this is that there are more locations where problems can arise. Your business could have a judgment from another state against someone who lives in Georgia. Normally, you cannot enforce a ruling from one state’s court in a different state. However, there is a process you can undergo called “domestication of a judgment.” This takes a ruling form outside of the State of Georgia and makes it enforceable inside the state.

    Domestication of a judgment can be complicated, but our lawyers know how to handle it. We can make sure that all necessary procedures are properly followed so that the out-of-state judgment can be enforced against a Georgia defendant.

    Contact Howe & Associates’ lawyers for domestication of judgment today by calling (678) 680-6983 to have us start working on your claim.

    What is Domestication of a Judgment in Georgia?

    Domestication of a judgment is a process by which an out-of-state court decision is made enforceable in the State of Georgia. Judicial decisions from one state cannot always be enforced in another, so they have to go through a special procedure called domestication, which allows those decisions to apply to a state in which they were not made.

    Divorce is one of the most common reasons for domestication of a foreign judgment. For example, suppose a spouse gets a divorce and then moves to another state. The divorce hearings and finalization did not happen in that state, so it can be tough or impossible to enforce the terms of the divorce. The solution is to apply one state’s judgment to the other state’s legal system.

    In a business context, consider this example: suppose you become a creditor for another individual who defaults on a loan and subsequently moves to Georgia. You then get a judgment against them in their original state. However, it will be difficult to enforce another state’s judgment in Georgia, where the debtor is present. Accordingly, you will have to integrate the other state’s judgment into the Georgia legal system by domesticating it.

    Steps to Domesticate a Judgment in Georgia

    There are a number of steps our judgment domestication lawyers need to follow in order to properly complete this process in the State of Georgia. The statute governing the domestication of judgments in Georgia is O.G.C.A. § 9-12-132. We will walk you through each of those steps in the section below.

    Obtain a Copy of the Judgment

    The first step is to get a copy of the “certified judgment and order” from the original state. As a practical matter, the State of Georgia needs something to go off of when enforcing another state’s legal decision. Additionally, you need this to prove that you had a judgment from the original state in the first place.

    Notify Obligated Parties

    Once you file a copy of the original judgment with the appropriate Georgia office, you need to notify the obligated party that you are going to enforce the legal obligation they have in the State of Georgia. There is a form you – or our lawyers – fill out and must personally serve to the oblige in order for the judgment to “stick.”

    Why Hire Our Attorneys to Domesticate a Judgment in Georgia?

    If all that domestication of judgment requires is filling out some paperwork, you may be wondering why you want or need to hire a legal professional to do it for you. The answer is that, although the process itself is straightforward, having a professional handle this legal process can help to guarantee that nothing goes wrong. It is possible for an untrained person to incorrectly fill out a form, miss a deadline, or make an innocent mistake they did not even know they were making, which can torpedo their entire endeavor. Let our legal professionals handle filings and other matters.

    Additionally, having a legal professional file your domestication ensures that any extra filings that need to be done are taken care of. For example, if you are domesticating a judgment for a lien on a property, it is important to do that process quickly so that your lien has priority over others. Having our lawyers do that instead of you ensures that the whole thing is done swiftly and effectively.

    Finally, having our attorneys focus on these important, sometimes tedious legal matters lets you continue to focus on what you care about – your business endeavors.

    Enforcing Domesticated Judgments in Georgia

    A domesticated judgment can be enforced as if it were made in the State of Georgia. This can allow you to target the income, accounts, and other liquid assets of debtors in the State of Georgia, even though the judgment that created those debts is originally from another state.

    Domesticating Federal Court Judgments to State Court Judgments in Georgia

    While the procedures discussed thus far deal with enforcing the judgment of another state in the Georgia legal system, you can also domesticate Federal judgments to make them enforceable at the state level in Georgia. The process by which federal judgments are domesticated is detailed in 28 U.S.C. § 1963. The process is similar to a state domestication, and our lawyers can determine whether your judgment needs to be domesticated from Federal or state court to the Georgia court system.

    Chat with Our Georgia Judgment Domestication Attorneys Now

    Howe & Associates’ lawyers for domestication of judgement can start assisting you with your situation when you call our office at (678) 680-6983.