Exemplified Judgment/Triple Seal Judgment
BY JAY AND ARTHUR WINSTON, WINSTON & WINSTON, P.C.
If a creditor obtains a judgment in one state and the debtor travels to another state, in most instances the full faith and credit provisions follow the debtor to enforce collection of the judgment. The courts of one state must afford full faith and credit to the judgments of another state. In order that one state will recognize the judgment of another state, the courts will usually require that the creditor obtain a triple seal or exemplified copy of the judgment which can be obtained from the County Clerk or the Judgment Clerk where the particular judgment was entered. The clerk will certify in writing, affixing a corporate seal or some form of a stamp, that the particular judgment was entered and will list the name of the judgment creditor, the name of the judgment debtor as well as the amount of the judgment, the date the judgment was entered and the court and index number under which the judgment was entered. The creditor files this instrument in the state and county where the debtor now resides and under most statutes is entitled to enforce the judgment in the same manner as the judgment entered in the state where the debtor formerly resided.
One exception are judgments which are obtained on default where the debtor has neither answered the complaint nor appeared in the action. Some states rely on the position that a judgment of this nature would not be recognized since the debtor has neither answered nor appeared in the action (New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts), and therefore has not submitted to the jurisdiction of the court. Under these circumstances the creditor will have to institute a separate suit on the judgment against the debtor. In these states, the courts frown on default judgments based on long arm jurisdiction and will often vacate these judgments. It is strongly recommended that counsel for the creditor sue not only on the judgment but also sue the debtor on the underlying debt.
Copyright © 2000, 2001 Winston & Winston P.C. All rights reserved.
Revised: July 29, 2003