Out of State Defendants

Apr 20, 2018

judgment

Business

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When you are taking someone to court, you need to think about how are you going to enforce the judgment. Many people and businesses find out the hard way that being awarded a judgment is time consuming, but simple compared to collecting on a judgment. Collection the judgment is the hard thing to do.
I see time and time again a Plaintiff will be awarded a judgment against a Defendant that lives in a different state. IN many instances the rules of civil procedure state that a Plaintiff can bring an action in either the Plaintiff’s or the Defendant’s jurisdiction. In order to COLLECT or ENFORCE the judgment, the judgment needs to be in the state (jurisdiction) of the defendant. The reason being is that there are different rules (Rules of Civil Procedure) and laws for each state. Those laws need to be followed in the defendant’s jurisdiction.
So if you were awarded a judgment in Quincy District Court (Ma) and your defendant lives or moved to Salem NH, your judgment is relatively unenforcable as it stands. There are steps you can take to move your judgment to the other state where the defendant now resides or has their business, but you basically need to start the process all over again. You will need to research the state specific rules for each state.

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