Colorado’s Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (“UEFJA” or “Act”) allows a creditor to enforce a foreign judgment without filing a new suit. The Act defines “foreign judgment” to mean “any judgment, decree, or order of a court of the United States or of any other court which is entitled to full faith and credit in this state.” In order to enforce under the UEFJA, the creditor must authenticate and file the foreign judgment in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
To enforce a foreign judgment under the Act, the creditor shall obtain a copy of the foreign judgment authenticated in accordance with an act of Congress or the laws of Colorado. Authentication may be performed under Rule 44, Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure or County Court Rule 344. Authentication occurs by obtaining a copy of the judgment attested by the officer having legal custody of the record judgment and a certificate that that officer has custody. Authentication for foreign judgments under the United States Code is substantially similar to the authentication performed for foreign official records under Rule 44(a)(2) of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure.
Upon receiving an authenticated copy of the judgment, a creditor may file it with the clerk of the court which would have had jurisdiction over the original action had it been commenced first in Colorado.
Upon the filing of the authenticated foreign judgment and the affidavit, the court clerk will mail a notice of the filing to the judgment debtor at the address given and will note the mailing on the docket. The notice must include the post office address of the judgment creditor and the judgment creditor’s lawyer, if any. Where the basic requirements of notice and hearing have been met in the foreign court, the post-judgment notice provision provided under the act has been held to satisfy the requirements of due process.
No execution or other process for enforcement of a foreign judgment filed under the act may issue until ten days after the date the judgment is filed. Within the ten-day stay of execution, if the judgment debtor shows the court that an appeal from the foreign judgment is pending or will be taken, or that a stay of execution has been granted, and upon proof that the judgment debtor has furnished the security required by the rendering state, the court will stay enforcement of the foreign judgment until the appeal is concluded, the time for appeal expires, or the stay of execution expires or is vacated. Further, if the judgment debtor shows the court any ground upon which enforcement of a Colorado judgment would be stayed, the court will stay enforcement of the foreign judgment for an appropriate time upon requiring the same security for satisfaction of the judgment which is required in Colorado.
When a creditor has filed a properly authenticated foreign judgment which appears on its face to be valid, the judgment creditor has made his prima facie case, and the burden of producing evidence shifts to the defendant.
However, as referenced in other article on this website, domesticating a judgment does not necessarily result in the judgment being paid.
Contact Schunk & Associates for undertaking domestication of a foreign judgment as well as post-judgment collection activities.