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What is a Sister-State Judgment?

Sister-state judgments are simply out of state judgments. It is any part of any judgment, decree or court order from a US court outside of California requiring the payment of money to satisfy the judgment. This does not include child support orders.

To enforce a sister-state monetary judgment, you do have to follow certain procedures to have it recognized in a California court so you can begin collection activities.

Your application for recognition must include the following statements:

  • no stay of enforcement is in effect in the sister-state
  • the judgment is not barred by the statute of limitations
  • the amount remaining to satisfy the judgment and interest at the rate applicable to the sister-state laws
  • no other actions based on the sister-state judgment are pending in California or any other state
  • include the last known address of the individual debtor, or a statement of the corporation’s name, place of incorporation and if it is qualified to do business in California
  • your name and address

You will also need an authenticated copy of the sister-state judgment.

You can obtain a judgment based solely on the application and before serving the documents, but the debtor has 30 days to make a motion to vacate the judgment after you serve him or her with the Notice of Entry of Judgment.

The motion to vacate can be based simply on your erroneous accounting of the amount owed including an incorrect amount of interest that has accrued.

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