South Carolina Foreign Judgments Law

Judgments – Foreign Judgments – South Carolina

Short title.
This article may be cited as the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act.  Title 15, Art. 11, SECTION 15-35-900.

Definitions.
As used in this article, unless the context requires otherwise:

(1) “Foreign judgment” means a judgment, decree, or order of a court of the United States or a court of another state which is entitled to full faith and credit in this State, except any orders as defined in Section 20-7-965 (the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act) or a “custody decree”, as defined in Section 20-7-786 (the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act).
(2) “Judgment debtor” means the party against whom a foreign judgment has been rendered.
(3) “Judgment creditor” means the party in whose favor a foreign judgment has been rendered.  Title 15, Art. 11, SECTION 15-35-910.

Filing of foreign judgment and affidavit; docketing and indexing; effect; stay of enforcement upon filing of motion for relief or notice of defense.

(A) A copy of a foreign judgment authenticated in accordance with an act of Congress or the statutes of this State may be filed in the office of the clerk of court of any county of this State in which the judgment debtor resides or owns real or personal property. Along with the foreign judgment, the judgment creditor or his attorney shall make and file with the clerk an affidavit which states that the foreign judgment is final, that it is unsatisfied in whole or in part setting forth the amount remaining unpaid on the judgment, and whether the judgment is further contested. A contested judgment includes a judgment for which post-trial motions are pending before the trial court, notice of appeal has been filed, or an appeal is pending.
(B) Upon the filing of the foreign judgment and the affidavit, the foreign judgment must be docketed and indexed in the same manner as a judgment of this State; however, no foreign judgment may be indexed if contested until resolved and no execution may issue upon the foreign judgment nor may any other proceeding be taken for its enforcement until the expiration of thirty days from the date upon which notice of filing is served in accordance with Section 15-35-930.
(C) A judgment so filed has the same effect and is subject to the same defenses as a judgment of this State and must be enforced or satisfied in like manner; however, if the judgment is contested, or the judgment debtor files a motion for relief or notice of defense pursuant to Section 15-35-940, enforcement of the foreign judgment is stayed automatically, without security, except as hereinafter provided, until the court finally disposes of the matter. During the time a motion for relief is pending or a stay under this section is in effect, no levy, writ of attachment, or other encumbrance of the judgment debtor’s property in furtherance of execution on the foreign judgment shall issue or otherwise be enforceable in this State unless after due notice to the judgment debtor and opportunity to be heard in a court of competent jurisdiction, the judgment creditor shows that the judgment debtor’s property in this State has been or is about to be disposed of or removed from this State with intent to defraud the judgment creditor, or to otherwise deplete the assets for purposes of avoiding payment of the judgment.  Title 15, Art. 11, SECTION 15-35-920.

Notice of filing; service and proof of service of notice.

(A) Promptly upon the filing of a foreign judgment and affidavit, the judgment creditor shall serve the notice of filing provided for in subsection (B) on the judgment debtor and shall attach a filed, stamped copy of the foreign judgment and affidavit to the notice. Service and proof of service of the notice may be made in any manner provided for in the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure.
(B) The notice must set forth the name and address of the judgment creditor, his attorney if any, and the clerk’s office in which the foreign judgment is filed in this State and must state that the judgment attached to the notice has been filed in that office, that the judgment debtor has thirty days from the date of receipt of the notice to seek relief from the enforcement of the judgment, and that if the judgment is not satisfied and no relief is sought within that thirty days, the judgment will be enforced in this State in the same manner as a judgment of this State.  Title 15, Art. 11, SECTION 15-35-930.

Motion for relief from, or notice of defense to, foreign judgment; grounds; motion for enforcement; Rules of Civil Procedure applicable; burden of proving judgment entitled to full faith and credit.

(A) The judgment debtor may file a motion for relief from, or notice of defense to, the foreign judgment on the grounds that the foreign judgment has been appealed from, that enforcement has been stayed by the court which rendered it, or on any other ground for which relief from a judgment of this State is allowed.
(B) If the judgment debtor has filed a motion for relief or notice of defenses, then the judgment creditor may move for enforcement or security of the foreign judgment as a judgment of this State, if all appeals of the foreign judgment are finally concluded and the judgment is not further contested. The judgment creditor’s motion must be heard before a judge who has jurisdiction of the matter based upon the amount in controversy as the amount remaining unpaid on the foreign judgment. The South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure apply. The judgment creditor has the burden of proving that the foreign judgment is entitled to full faith and credit.  Title 15, Art. 11, SECTION 15-35-940.

Article does not impair judgment creditor’s right to bring civil action in State to enforce judgment.
This article may not be construed to impair a judgment creditor’s right to bring a civil action in this State to enforce the creditor’s judgment.  Title 15, Art. 11, SECTION 15-35-950.

Inapplicability to judgments based on claims contrary to public policy.
The provisions of this article do not apply to foreign judgments based on claims which are contrary to the public policies of this State.  Title 15, Art. 11, SECTION 15-35-960.


Inside South Carolina Foreign Judgments Law