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How to Domesticate a Judgment from a Foreign State to Indiana

With the frequency in which businesses engage in interstate commerce, it is becoming more and more common for creditors to obtain a judgment in one state and attempt collection in another.  Fortunately, in Indiana, the process of domesticating a foreign judgment is straight-forward:

  1. The judgment creditor must wait at least 21 days after entry of the judgment in the original jurisdiction.
  2. The judgment creditor must file a copy of the foreign judgment, authenticated in accordance with federal law or Indiana state law, with the clerk of court in the appropriate Indiana Circuit or Superior Court. 
  3. Simultaneously in connection with step 2, the judgment creditor must also file an affidavit setting forth the name and last known address of the judgment debtor, as well as the name and last known address of the judgment creditor.
  4. The judgment creditor must send notice of filing of the foreign judgment to the judgment debtor and ensure the clerk of court has sent similar notice to the judgment debtor.  Proof of mailing must be filed with the clerk of the court.
  5. The judgment creditor must pay a filing fee with the court. 

Assuming each step is met and the judgment debtor does not challenge the enforceability of the judgment, the judgment will have the full force and effect in Indiana as in the state in which it was originally entered.