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Subject: Recognition of US Judgments in Ireland
From: Mason Hayes & Curran <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Irish and N. Irish Law
Date:Mon, 17 Jun 1996 08:15:28 +0100

text/plain (94 lines)

Dear Mr. Greenleaf,
I have received your E-Mail of 13 June 1996 regarding Enforcement of
Judgments in Ireland.   I am not aware of any treaty between the US and
Ireland regarding the enforcement of judgments.   Ireland is a party to the
Brussels Convention 1968 which deals with the enforcement of judgments
between EU Member States and the Lugano Convention which is an ancillary
convention applying to the EFTA Member States.  Judgments originating from
States outside of these countries may be enforceable in Ireland.  Unlike in
the case of Brussels/Lugano judgments, the existence of a judgment of
another State does not extinguish the original cause of action in Ireland.
Therefore, it is open to a Plantiff to proceed in Ireland either on foot of
the foreign judgment or, the original cause of action.  =20
There are three conditions for a foreign judgment to be recognised or
enforceable in Ireland:
a)      must be a judgment of a Court of competent jurisdiction
b)      the judgment must be final and conclusive
c)      the judgment must be for a definate sum of money
As to whether the foreign Court has competent jurisdiction, is determined by
reference to the Irish Rules on jurisdiction.   Generally the foreign Court
should be recognised by an Irish Court as being of competent jurisdiction=
a)      the foreign Court is a Court of the Defendant's residence and
b)      the Defendant has submitted to the jurisdiction of the Foreign
Tribunal either by entering an Appearance to proceedings, or by
contractually    submitting to the jurisdiciton of the Court
Judgment must be Final and Conclusive
It must be shown that the foreign Court conclusively establishes the
existence of the debt so as to make a res judicata. The judgment may be
enforceable even if the defendant is entitled to appeal, provided there is
no stay on execution pending an appeal in the foreign country. If an appeal
is pending but not subject to a stay in the foreign country, the Irish
Courts would most likely grant a stay on execution pending the outcome of
the appeal.    =20
Judgment must be for a definite sum
Once again unlike Brussels/Lugano judgments, the judgment must be for a
definite sum of money.     This is most recently been confirmed by the
Supreme Court in Kutchera - v - Buckingham Holdings 1988 IRLM 501.   The
Irish Courts are precluded from examining the foreign judgment on the
merits.   However, certain defences are available to the defendant, such as
fraud, public policy, including Irish Constitutional concepts of due
process, and in relation to the recognition and enforcement of foreign
divorces and ancillary orders.     Proceedings to enforce a judgment
instituted more than six years from the date of the judgment may be statute
barred, but the period begins to run from the date when the defendant enters
the jurisdiction. =20
In Ireland the basis of the jurisdiction for particular action depends on
the monetary value of the claim and the geographical location of the
defendant.  The Irish High Court has jurisdiction in claims of IR=A330,000=
over throughout the State.  The Circuit Court deals with claims between
IR=A35,000 and one - IR=A330,000, and is divided into twenty six regions=
as counties.    The District Court deals with claims from IR=A30 to IR=A35,0=
and deals with smaller geographical areas than in the Circuit Court.
Accordingly, when one is attempting to enforce a US Judgment for example,
one must examine both the amount of the judgment, and the location of the
defendant in order to decide which is the appropriate Court.  Generally, in
all Courts, the following documents would be required to enforce a judgment:
a)      a document instituting proceedings i.e. Summons/Writ
b)      a grounding Affidavit usually sworn by the Irish lawyer exhibiting
the  original/certified copy of the judgment
c)      an Affidavit of Service of the document used to institute
proceedings in the originating Court
d)      a translation of the judgment if not in the English or Irish=
Where the originating State is a party to the Hague Convention on Service
Abroad 1965, it is important that the document instituting proceedings in
particular and all other documents which have been served, have been served
in compliance with the Hague Convention on Service Abroad.  If one fails to
serve proceedings pursuant to this Convention, the Irish Courts are likely
to refuse to enforce same.   =20
I hope that this is of some assistance to you, and if you wish to discuss
the matter please telephone me at + 353 1 6766961.  =20
Yours sincerely,
Mary McGregor

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