Foreign Judgments

Domesticating/Enforcing a Foreign Judgment

FEFJA (Florida Enforcement of Foreign Judgment Act) allows holders of uncollected foreign judgments to domesticate the judgment and have a writ of execution issued in the Florida County where the judgment is recorded without having to file suit or pay a filing fee. Note: If the judgment holder seeks judicial relief to enforce the terms of the judgment (issuance of a writ of execution does not require judicial action) then a civil case must be filed with the requisite filing fee corresponding to the amount of the foreign judgment.

DOMESTICATION of a foreign judgment allows it to be enforced as if it was a Florida judgment.

ENFORCEMENT of a foreign judgment is the action taken to attempt to have the judgment paid or satisfied, such as filing a judicial action, seeking to garnish assets, or attach and sell property owned by the judgment debtor.

Domestication without Enforcement
E-file with court OR submit paper documents to recording department:
  • One document (PDF) containing (1) certified or authenticated copy of the foreign judgment; and (2) affidavit with the judgment debtor’s name, last known address, and social security number, if known, the judgment creditor’s address. It is optional to add the creditor’s attorney's name, address, telephone number, and bar number.
  • Notice to the judgment debtor, see sample form here, to be completed and submitted by the judgment creditor. DO NOT include this notice as part of the foreign judgment PDF, since it does not get recorded. The judgment creditor may mail a separate notice of recording of the judgment to the debtors and file proof of mailing in the domestication file when opened.
  • If the paper-ink original documents were delivered or mailed to the recording department, provide a self-addressed stamped envelope for return of the recorded documents.

To e-file:
  • Select Division Circuit Civil for judgments of $15,000 or more or Division County Civil for judgments less than $15,000.
  • Then select Case Type Specialized Other and Sub Type Foreign Judgment Domestication

Judicial Enforcement Action
E-file with court:
  • Complaint for enforcement of foreign judgment
  • One document (PDF) containing (1) certified or authenticated copy of the foreign judgment; and (2) affidavit with the judgment debtor’s name, last known address, and social security number, if known, the judgment creditor’s address. It is optional to add the creditor’s attorney's name, address, telephone number, and bar number.
  • Notice to the judgment debtor, see sample form here, to be completed and submitted by the judgment creditor. DO NOT include this notice as part of the foreign judgment PDF, since it does not get recorded. The judgment creditor may mail a separate notice of recording of the judgment to the debtors and file proof of mailing in the domestication file when opened.

To e-file:
  • Select Division Circuit Civil for judgments of $15,000 or more or Division County Civil for judgments less than $15,000.
  • Then select Case Type Specialized Other and Sub Type Foreign Judgment Domestication

Fees
  • FOR ENFORCEMENT ONLY: Filing fee based on amount of judgment: $400.00 for circuit court; $300.00 for county court, etc.
  • Foreign Judgment fee of $42.00 , FS 55.505(3)
  • Recording Fees of $10.00 for 1st page and $8.50 for each additional page FOR judgment and affidavit, only, NOT notice to judgment debtor, FS 55.505(2)
  • Verification fee of $3.50 , FS 28.24(4)
  • Copy fees of $1.00 per page to copy judgment, affidavit, and notice for mailing
  • Certified mail postage fees per judgment debtor (registered mail if out-of-country)$6.74 for each mailing, FS 55.505(2), packages exceeding 6 pages per mailing will require additional postage fees
  • Indexing fees of $1.00 per name if more than 4 names are to be indexed, FS 28.24(12)(c)

Issuance of Writ of Execution

If proper proofs of mailing are filed, the clerk will issue a writ of execution upon presentment. A proposed writ of execution can be e-filed.

Issuance of Writ of Garnishment

A motion for a writ of garnishment requires judicial involvement and therefore requires the payment of a full filing fee for instituting a new civil action based on the jurisdictional amount of the foreign judgment in addition to the garnishment fee of $85. Your writ of garnishment must include the garnishee's address. The motion and proposed writ can be e-filed, however, do not e-file the proposed writ until it is ready to be issued.
For more information regarding writs of garnishment, please contact the Civil Department at: civil-dept@alachuaclerk.org

Interest rate

Do not compute the amount of interest into the total amount due on your motion and writ. Indicate that interest is owed, the percent, and the date interest began to accrue, but do not add this amount to your judgment. The interest rate is the interest rate in effect as of the law of the state or country where the judgment was entered. If the interest rate is not shown on the face of the judgment, provide a separate memo or letter explaining what the interest rate is and documentation to support that interest rate.
For additional information refer to in chapter 55 of the Florida Statutes and the “Florida Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act” contained in sections 55.501 through 55.509
Out-Of-Country Foreign Judgments

For out-of-country foreign judgments the judgment debtor has 30 days after service of the notice to file a Notice of Objection with the clerk. FS 55.604(2). If no objection is filed, the judgment creditor can ask the clerk to issue a certificate that no objection has been filed. FS 55.504(4)

NOTICE OF NON-OBJECTION

Fees
    Upon a request of a notice of non-objection under FS 55.604(4) and payment of the additional fees shown below the Clerk will:
  • Search the Official Records to determine whether an objection has been recorded;
  • Prepare a certificate as to the results of that search;
  • Record the certificate; and
  • Mail the recorded certificate to the party who requested the Certificate of Non-Objection.

Records Search for Notice of Objection $2.00  Per debtor name
Preparation of Certificate of No Objection      $7.00  Flat Fee
Recording Certificate of No Objection $10.00  Flat Fee
Indexing additional names in Certificate $1.00  Per name over four names

The Clerk:
1. Records the judgment and affidavit.
2. Mails the notice and recorded certified copy of the foreign judgment and affidavit by certified mail with return receipt requested to the judgment debtors at the mailing addresses provided in the affidavit and notice.
3. Retains proof of mailing when received and if a civil action is filed will file this in the civil case.

Foreign Judgment Fee Computation
 Description  $ per item      # of items       Total
 Record 1st page judgment and attachments       $10.00   Flat fee    $10.00 
 Record additional pages of judgment/attachments         $8.50
 Certified mail, per judgment debtor address         $6.74
 Service charge for filing with court       $42.00   Flat fee    $42.00 
 Copy fee per page (# of copies per package per address)            $1.00
 Verification of Notice         $3.50   Flat fee      $3.50 
 TOTAL