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What Can Be Done In Your Home State With a New York Default Judgment

A lender makes sure that it can sue you where it resides, not where you reside. This is done by a contract stating that you agree to be sued in New York. The Supreme Court of the United States has approved such contract provisions. So have New York courts, except where there is blatant consumer fraud. The big question for someone living outside of New York, who gets sued by a lender in New York, is: What are your rights if you do not defend the New York action? What if you wait until the lender gets their New York judgment and tries to enforce it in your home state? In your home state, can you still contest the action on the merits and force the lender to prove that the claim against you is valid?

To answer this question, quizzed attorneys from all over the country. See the list of states, below. If you reside in a state not listed, email us and we’ll ask an attorney in your state for an opinion.

California: The only ground on which the New York judgment can be set aside is lack of jurisdiction. The merits cannot be contested. [Email CA Attorney]. An “exemplified” copy of the New York judgment can be filed in California, with a notice served on the debtor who then has 30 days to file a motion challenging the judgment. The only grounds are those related to jurisdiction, not to the underlying merits. [Email CA Attorney]

Connecticut: A successful attack on the judgment must establish that the New York judgment is void, which requires proof of the lack of a genuine court or lack of jurisdiction or the absence of power to grant the relief provided by the judgment. [Email CT Attorney]

Florida: The New York judgment could be set aside on many grounds, including excusable neglect, new evidence, fraud, misrepresentation, and no jurisdiction. (FL Civil Practice And Procedure § 55.503 and Rule 1.540). [Email FL Attorney]

Georgia: The judgment can be domesticated in the county where the debtor resides and then post-judgment remedies such as asset discovery and garnishments can be employed. The judgment can generally be attached only on the absence of jurisdiction. There is a possibility that the amount of the judgment can be attacked because a garnishee of the judgment debtor was allowed to do that 240 Ga. App. 419. [Email GA Attorney]

Illinois: The Illinois court will only review whether the New York court had jurisdiction, and will not even review jurisdiction if the issue had already been determined in New York. Ross & Chatterton Law Offices v Lewis, 109 Ill App 3d 856, 441 NE2d 129, 65 Ill Dec 337 (4th D Ill App 1982). (In an action based on the registration of a foreign judgment, an Illinois court did not reconsider jurisdiction issues that a Wisconsin court decided previously.) [Email IL Attorney]

Indiana: The foreign action to domesticate the judgment will not review the merits of the original decision, applying the principle of res judicata, but the court can inquire into whether the foreign court's finding of personal and subject matter jurisdiction was correct. Commercial Coin Laundry Systems v Enneking, 766 NE2d 433 (Ind App 2002). [Email Attorney]

Maryland: The only defense to the judgment is to challenge the jurisdiction of the original court, but judges have been known to bend over backwards for consumers. Most judges will advise the debtor to go attack the NY judgment in NY. [Email MD Attorney]

Michigan: As long as New York had jurisdiction, the New York judgment cannot be attacked on the merits. [Email MI Attorney]

New Jersey: The New York judgment can be registered in New Jersey and the only objection would be on jurisdiction. The merits would be immaterial. [Email NJ Attorney]

Ohio: The only defense to the New York judgment is to either challenge the original judgment in New York to to challenge the registration of the judgment in Ohio on the ground that subject matter or personal jurisdiction was not proper. [Email OH Attorney]

Pennsylvania: The New York judgment can only be filed and enforced if there was personal service on the defendant, not service of process by the secretary of state or by mail. Otherwise, the lender must start an action in Pennsylvania, based on the judgment and including a “count” on the underlying cause of action. [Email PA Attorney]

Texas: Unless a consumer loan is involved, the New York judgment could only be set aside if the court lacked jurisdiction. [Website TX Attorney]

Virginia: Under Code of Virginia §8.01-465.2, the New York judgment could be set aside under “the same procedures, defenses and proceedings for reopening, vacating, or staying as a judgment of” Virginia The grounds include “(i) fraud on the court, (ii) a void judgment, (iii) on proof of an accord and satisfaction, or (iv) on proof that the defendant was in the military service. §8.01-428. [Email VA Attorney]

Wisconsin: Wisconsin has also adopted the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act. Wis Stat § 806.24(6), and is similar to Illinois. [Email Attorney] “You’ve Got a Friend!”

Amos Weinberg, Attorney at Law

49 Somerset Drive South, Great Neck NY 11020-1821

Phone: (516) 829-3900 (631) JUSTICE (844) WEINBERG


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