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Daily Legislative Brief from February 27, 2018

Legal & Judicial

HB 623 & SB760 - Relating to Grounds for Nonrecognition or Out-of-Country Foreign Judgments

On Tuesday, February 27th, SB 760 by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) was laid on the table and substituted with HB 623, by Representative Cord Byrd (R-Jacksonville). HB 623 was read for a third time on the Senate floor and passed unanimously by a vote of 36 yeas to 0 nays.

This legislation amends the Uniform Out-Of-Country Foreign Money - Judgment Recognition Act, codified in chapter 55 F.S., to add two additional permissive grounds for nonrecognition of a foreign money judgment by a Florida court.

The Act currently provides three mandatory grounds for nonrecognition and eight permissive grounds for nonrecognition of a foreign judgment. Of the mandatory grounds that are similar to those in the bill, the Act requires nonrecognition where the foreign country’s court system is systematically unfair, failing to provide impartial tribunals and compatible due process of law.

This bill adds two permissive grounds for when a Florida court may decline to recognize a foreign judgment on more individualized due process grounds: 

  • There is “substantial doubt” about the “integrity” of the particular foreign court that rendered the judgment. 
  • The particular foreign court that rendered the judgment failed to afford due process in the proceedings.

HB 623 will go on to the desk of the Governor.

AIF SUPPORTS legislation to clarify existing law and protect Florida businesses from foreign judgments that are not compatible with the requirements of due process of law.