Enforcing U.S. judgments in the Bahamas

Enforcing U.S. judgments in the Bahamas

If you are seeking to enforce a U.S. judgment in The Bahamas we can assist with expert advice: Parris Whittaker has years of experience registering and enforcing foreign judgments in the Supreme Court of the Bahamas and can give you the expert counsel you need to satisfy the judgment in your favour.

 

We possess in-depth knowledge of all the relevant issues relating to enforcing foreign judgment, for instance, jurisdiction, and conflicts of law.  Our lawyers offer strategic solutions that best fit your circumstances from the start of proceedings to recovery of your assets. 

Some foreign judgments are enforceable in The Bahamas under the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act. However, the U.S. is not currently party to the Act, or any international convention or treaty governing the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.   US Judgments can be treated as a proof of a debt owing.

When you instruct our lawyers to enforce the U.S. judgment, the judgment is your ‘cause of action’. In order for the judgment to be enforced, the court requires to be satisfied of certain matters, including:

• the defendant in the enforcement proceedings was resident (or if a body corporate, had a place of business) in the U.S.
• the defendant was the plaintiff (or was counterclaimed) in those proceedings
• the defendant agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of U.S. (by voluntary appearance or by contract)
• the foreign judgment is final and conclusive, and for a fixed sum of money


Proceedings must be commenced within six years of the date of the original judgment. and the burden of proof lies with the judgment debtor.

There exists a general presumption that the foreign judgment is conclusive, however, a number of defences are available including:

• lack of jurisdiction of the foreign court
• the judgment was not final and conclusive
• the judgment is contrary to the rules of natural justice or obtained by fraud
• it conflicts with a prior English judgment.

We will be prepared to answer any defence/s that we envisage could be put forward, because our lawyers take pride in ensuring we are familiar with the full background to the case before we commence proceedings on your behalf.

If you wish to take enforcement action on a U.S. judgment or any other foreign judgment, contact the experienced dispute litigation lawyers at Parris Whittaker for expert advice and prompt action to obtain recover on your behalf.