Enforcing Foreign Judgments in Washington State

Uniform Enforcement of Foreign JudgmentsLike most states, Washington has adopted the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act or UEFJA. The UEFJA permits a person or entity to enforce a judgment against a person or property located in Washington based on a judgement issued in another state. (For purposes of the UEFJA, judgments from another state are referred to as “foreign.”) The UEFJA is codified in Washington at Chapter 6.36 RCW.

Although the purpose of the UEFJA is to “make uniform the law of those states which enact it,” it is important to understand the nuances of Washington law before attempting to enforce a foreign judgment there. For example, Washington law requires that all money judgments, including foreign judgments, contain a judgement summary. RCW 4.64.030. Failure to include a judgement summary may cause problems when attempting to enforce a foreign judgment. See Bank of Am., N.A. v. Owens, 173 Wn.2d 40, 54, 266 P.3d 211 (2011)(“[A] clerk may not enter a judgment in the execution docket, until a proper summary exists.”). To avoid the problems, it is important that you contact an attorney licensed to practice in Washington State before attempting to enforce a foreign judgment there.

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