How to Turn a Federal Judgment from Another District Into a New York State Judgment
The process to turn a federal judgment from another federal district into a New York judgment is much easier than turning a state court judgment from another state into a New York judgment. The requirements are set forth in section 1963 of Title 28 of the United States Code (28 U.S.C. § 1963). The procedure is as follows:
- Obtain original wet ink “certified” copy of judgment entered in another federal district (usually US District Court, but may be Bankruptcy Court, or other federal court) and Form AO 451 (Certificate of Judgment for Registration in another District) from the same court. Form AO 451 is completed by the Clerk’s Office issuing the certified copy of judgment. The issuing court charges a fee for certified copy of judgment and issuing Form AO 451 (currently $11 each).
- Submit certified copy of federal court judgment from another district, court issued Form AO 451, and miscellaneous case cover sheet to the federal court in this district in which being registered based on defendant and judgment debtor's location (such as U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York, or other federal court). The court in which the copy of the federal court judgment is filed requires a fee to file and register the judgment. The filing is done electronically online on the Court’s electronic case filing (ECF) system.
After a judgment from another federal district has been registered with a federal court in New York usually we will want to enforce the judgment as a state court judgment so that we can pursue judgment enforcement through a New York City Marshal (in the case of a judgment filed in New York City) or a through the County Sheriff's Office in the applicable county (in the event enforcement against real estate is sought or the judgment debtor is in a county outside New York City). The reasons for this is it often easier and cheaper to enforce a judgment through a New York City Marshal or through a County Sheriff than through the United States Marshal's Office.
The procedure to do this is to “transcript the judgment” in accordance with section 5018(b) of the New York Civil Procedure Law & Rules (CPLR § 5018(b)). After obtaining a transcript of judgment it can be filed with the New York County Clerk (or in any other county in New York). Upon filing the judgment can then be enforced as a New York State Court judgment.
In addition, once a transcript of judgment or abstract has been filed with the New York County Clerk or in another county in New York, the judgment creditor may obtain transcripts of judgment from the County Clerk and file those in additional counties in New York The reason to do this would be if the defendant(s) have real estate in more than one county in New York. The filing of a transcript of judgment creates a lien against any real estate of the defendants in the county.
At Starr & Starr, PLLC, we have extensive experiencing in representing judgment creditors in filing federal judgments from another district with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York or U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and enforcing the resulting judgment against assets and income of the judgment debtors in New York, Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester and other counties of New York.