If you've been practicing law for more than a few years,
you've undoubtedly been asked to "domesticate" in North Carolina's
courts a judgment entered in another state. A pretty easy task you think,
covered by North Carolina's adoption of the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign
Judgments Act, N.C. Gen. Stat. Sec. 1C-1701 to -1708.
Let's say that the lawyer defending against the
domestication tells you that the out-of-state judgment was obtained based on
"intrinsic fraud, misrepresentation, and misconduct." Those
would probably be grounds for setting aside a North Carolina judgment under Rule
60(b) of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. Can the foreign
judgment be enforced in North Carolina under the Uniform Act?
Those of you who are particularly sharp are wondering
about the constitutional principle of Full Faith and Credit. Article IV,
Section 1 of the Constitution says that "Full Faith and Credit shall be
given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of
every other State." Not surprisingly, there is a good bit of
judicial discussion of the interplay between the Uniform Act and the
Constitution, with the most recent comment this week from the North Carolina
Court of Appeals, in DOCRX,
Inc. v. EMI Services of NC, LLC.
DOCRX was on the receiving end of a judgment in Mobile
County, Alabama, of nearly half a million dollars. When EMI sought to
have its Alabama judgment enforced in North Carolina, DOCRX argued per NCRCP
60(b) that the judgment could not be enforced because it was obtained on
the basis of intrinsic fraud.
Read this article in
its entirety on North
Carolina Business Litigation Report, a blog for lawyers focusing on issues
of North Carolina business law and the day-to-day practice of business
litigation in North Carolina courts.
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