Even Based on Fraud Need To Be Asserted in the Country Issuing the Original Judgment;
U.S. Court Declines "Interjudicial Conference" of Having the Judges From the Two
By Louis M. Solomon
et al. v. Opcion Sociedad Anonima,
No. 3D11-333 (3d Dist. Ct App. Fla. July 2011), is a state-court appellate ruling
that bears on several international litigation topics of timely interest relating
to the enforcement in the U.S. of a money judgment issued in a non-U.S. country.
Florida, like most other states, enacted what this Court described as the "Uniform
Out-of-Country Foreign Money-Judgment Recognition Act". Interpreting
the Act, the appellate court ruled:
First, that "a post-recognition collateral
attack on the judgment ordinarily should be directed to the foreign court rather
than the Florida court". Said this Court:
We appreciate the care a court in one
country may take to avoid any inference of interference with the jurisdiction and
discretion of a court in another country, but the same considerations of international
comity do not in any way limit a presiding court's power to control a litigant seeking
relief before it.
Second, the court addresses a suggestion
by one of the litigants for the court to have an "interjudicial conference" by bringing
the presiding judge in the case in Argentina to Miami for a hearing. The trial
court did not agree to do so, but the appellate court said:
The concept of direct, verbal cross-border
judicial dialogue is intriguing, but the practical barriers posed by simultaneous
translation, differing legal systems, participation by lawyers for each party and
each country, and the uncertain appellate remedies, are daunting.
Third, the appellate court affirmed the
trial court's rejection of the challenging litigant's argument that the Florida
court had authority to vacate the recognition based on fraud and misconduct by the
creditor in the non-U.S. proceeding.
Fourth, the appellate court affirmed
the practical necessity of converting the non-U.S. currency into U.S. dollar equivalent,
though it stated, "[a]gain, the court which entered the underlying judgment retains
ultimate control to limit the total sum collected by the judgment creditor", to
protect against overpayment by reason of exchange rate fluctuations, etc.
International Practice Law Blog for more analysis of international
and foreign law issues.
For more information about LexisNexis products and solutions connect with
us through our corporate site.