New York Amends NY Civil Practice Law to Conform with Uniform Foreign Country Money Judgments Act

New York Governor Cuomo signed into law on 11 June 2021 an amendment to Article 53 of New York Civil Practice Law and Rules to conform with the revised Uniform Foreign Country Money Judgments Act of 2005. The revision to the law is welcomed by many commentators and practitioners.

Uniform Foreign Country Money Judgments Act.

The salient changes to Article 53 of the NY Civil Practice Law and Rules (to conform with the Uniform Foreign Country Money Judgments Act) are as follows:

  • “Foreign Country.” Prior to the amendment an argument existed that this Act can be utilized by other States within the United States. The amended article deletes the word “foreign state” and defines the word “foreign country” to specifically exclude other States within the United States.
  • Exclusion of Most Matrimonial & Family Law Matters. The law expands the excluded matters to a “judgment for divorce, support or maintenance, or other judgment rendered in connection with domestic relations” from subject matters that are enforceable foreign judgments.
  • Discretionary Non-Enforcement. The new law allows a judge to refuse to enforce a judgment from a foreign court if the judgment: “was rendered in circumstances that raise substantial doubt about the integrity of the rendering courts with respect to the judgment;” or “the specific proceeding in the foreign court leading to the judgment was not compatible with the requirements of due process of law.”
  • Statute of Limitations. The new law notes that a “action to recognize a foreign country judgment must be commenced within the earlier of the time during which the foreign country judgment is effective in the foreign country” or 20 years from the original effective date of the judgment, thus, placing into the law a statute of limitations of no more than 20 years.
  • Burdens of Proof. The new law mandates that the party fighting recognition has the burden of proof that the ground for non-recognition exists.

If you would like to discuss details about enforcing a foreign judgment in a New York court please: Schedule a Call with a New York Lawyer.

Additional articles on this issue may be found at: Recognition and Enforcement of a Foreign Divorce Decree in New York, Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in New York Courts, and Enforcement of Liquidated Damages Clauses in NY.

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