District of Columbia Enacts Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act

On December 21, 2011, the District of Columbia enacted the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act of 2011 (the “Act”). The legislation, which was introduced as Bill 19-216, was unanimously approved by the D.C. Council on its final reading in early December and was then signed by the Mayor. The Act is designated Act 19-246 and will become effective after the expiration of a 30-day period of Congressional review and publication in the D.C. Register. Upon becoming effective, the Act will be codified at D.C. Code §§ 15-361 to 15-371. [Update: The Act became effective on February 24, 2012, and is now Law 19-86.]

The preamble to the Act states that its purpose is “to provide uniform procedures for the enforcement of foreign-country money judgments, to provide that a petitioner for recognition has the [initial] burden of proving a judgment is entitled to recognition and that any respondent resisting recognition and enforcement has the burden of proof respecting denial of recognition [after the petitioner fulfills its initial burden], to revise the grounds for denying recognition of foreign-country money judgments, and to establish a statute of limitations for recognition actions.”

A detailed discussion about the background and need for the legislation, and a section-by-section analysis of the legislation, is contained in a Committee Report of the D.C. Council’s Judiciary Committee, dated October 11, 2011. The Committee Report also discusses a public hearing on the legislation which was held by the Judiciary Committee on May 31, 2011.

To view the Act as published in the D.C. Register, click here. To view the Committee Report, click here.