Enforcement of Judgement - Guide to Legal Remedies

What Are Legal Remedies and How Does One Enforce Them?

Every lawsuit has an intended goal; something which one seeks to recover by the lawsuit. This can be money, the performance of an obligation, a determination of rights, or other purposes. These are called legal remedies.

Once a judgment is entered against one party, the other party must usually take steps to enforce the judgment. This can be through seizure of property, garnishment of wages, enlisting the assistance of law enforcement to force someone's compliance, or any number of other methods.

Selection of Remedies

In most cases, the remedies available are limited by the nature of the case. For example, one injured in a car accident is likely only to be able to recover monetary damages for their injuries and property damage, as there is no way to prevent the accident from ever occurring through an injunction. In some cases, however, it is possible to select one remedy or another. For example, in some product cases it may be possible to obtain either the value of the product or the value of the resulting injury (although the economic loss rule may apply in some instances). In these instances, one may select the most appropriate remedy or sue for both and ask the finder of fact to make the determination.

Enforcement of Judgments

Once a final ruling has been made, one must enforce it. This can almost be like another case in and of itself. Enforcement may require discovery in aid of execution, proceedings to garnish wages and bank accounts, to levy on assets, and other proceedings. Often, assets may be located in more than one jurisdiction, requiring one to engage in domestication of judgments in these other jurisdictions. In some cases, defendants may even seek to avoid the judgment by declaring bankruptcy.

In other cases, where one obtains a non-monetary judgment, other proceedings may be required. These might include hearings to enforce injunctions, contempt proceedings, or others.

Determining appropriate remedies and enforcing judgments can be a very complicated and ever changing body of law. For more information, please review the materials below. However, if you have a question about these matters, you should contact a local attorney to assist you. You can find a list of attorneys in your area by visiting our Law Firms page.

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Enforcement of Judgement - US

  • Administrative Office of the United States Courts

    The AO is the central support entity for the Judicial Branch. It provides a wide range of administrative, legal, financial, management, program, and information technology services to the federal courts. The AO provides support and staff counsel to the Judicial Conference of the United States and its committees, and implements and executes Judicial Conference policies, as well as applicable federal statutes and regulations. The AO facilitates communications within the Judiciary and with Congress, the Executive Branch, and the public on behalf of the Judiciary.

  • Department of State - Private International Law - Arbitration and Judgements

    L/PIL is responsible for the negotiation and conclusion of international conventions, model laws and rules, legislative guides, and other instruments governing private transactions that cross international borders. This website is intended to provide a convenient location to find information regarding private international law in areas such as trade, finance and banking; judicial assistance; arbitration and judgments; matters involving families and children; and wills, trusts and estates.

  • Enforcement of Judicial Decisions - Definition

    The method of enforcing a judicial decision depends upon its nature. If it does nothing more than declare legal rights, as is true of a simple divorce decree (merely severing marital ties, not awarding alimony or the custody of children) or a declaratory judgment (e.g., interpreting a contract or a statute), no enforcement is needed. If a judgment orders a party to do or to refrain from doing a certain act, as happens when an injunction is issued, the court itself takes the first step in enforcing the judgment by holding in contempt anyone who refuses to obey its order and sentencing him to pay a fine or to go to jail. Thereafter, enforcement is in the hands of the executive branch of government, acting through its law-enforcement and correctional authorities.

  • International Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments

    There is no bilateral treaty or multilateral international convention in force between the United States and any other country on reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments. Although there are many reasons for the absence of such agreements, a principal stumbling block appears to be the perception of many foreign states that U.S. money judgments are excessive according to their notions of liability. Moreover, foreign countries have objected to the extraterritorial jurisdiction asserted by courts in the United States. In consequence, absent a treaty, whether the courts of a foreign country would enforce a judgment issued by a court in the United States depends upon the internal laws of the foreign country and international comity.

  • Legal Remedies Available to Death Sentenced Individuals

    In the early twentieth century, executions typically took place within a year after the trial. Since few constitutional rights of defendants were recognized, few areas of relief were possible. In particular, the criminal-procedure guarantees of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States – guarantees such as the right to a defense attorney, the right to a public trial by an impartial jury, and the privilege against self-incrimination – were thought to apply only in federal criminal prosecutions, not in state prosecutions. Gradually, however, the Supreme Court of the United States held that many of the protections of the federal Constitution’s Bill of Rights applied to state criminal defendants as indispensable components of the “due process of law” which the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution explicitly required the States to grant to any person in the United States. Protecting these constitutional rights required a more thorough review of a defendant’s conviction and death sentence.

Enforcement of Judgement - International

  • Enforcement of Judgements and Orders - UK

    We are responsible for maintaining and developing the system for collecting and enforcing fines, confiscation orders, civil orders and judgments and the enforcement of breaches of community penalties. As part of our duties, we: * advise ministers and senior officials on performance, policy and operational aspects of civil and criminal enforcement * guide and advise courts and share good practice * procure and manage enforcement contracts * develop and implement civil and criminal blueprints for enforcement * implement new enforcement legislation.

  • European Judicial Network - Enforcement of Judgements

    Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters contains rules on enforcement in another Member State. It entered into force on 1 March 2002 and simplifies the procedure for having a foreign judgment declared enforceable, and replaces the Brussels Convention of 1968. The Regulation is directly applicable, which means that anybody can rely on it before the courts. The application of Regulation was extended to Denmark following the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Denmark on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

  • UNHCR - Right of Amparo, Habeas Corpus or Legal Remedies

    The General Assembly, Bearing in mind the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,[1] of the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment[2] and of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,[3] Mindful, in particular, of article 9, paragraph 4, of the said Covenant, which stipulates that anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful.

Organizations Related to Enforcement of Judgement

  • Center for the Preservation of Habeas Corpus

    Prisoners often seek release by filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. A writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate to a prison official ordering that an inmate be brought to the court so it can be determined whether or not that person is imprisoned lawfully and whether or not he should be released from custody. A habeas corpus petition is a petition filed with a court by a person who objects to his own or another's detention or imprisonment.

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

    Part of the FBI Mission is "to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners." That means many things, from fingerprint and DNA analysis to professional training to reports and statistics.

  • National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA)

    NLADA is the nation's leading advocate for front-line attorneys and other equal justice professionals - those who make a difference in the lives of low-income clients and their families and communities. Representing legal aid and defender programs, as well as individual advocates, NLADA is proud to be the oldest and largest national, nonprofit membership association devoting 100 percent of its resources to serving the broad equal justice community.

  • Office for Victims of Crime - Civil Legal Remedies

    The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) was established by the 1984 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to oversee diverse programs that benefit victims of crime. OVC provides substantial funding to state victim assistance and compensation programs-the lifeline services that help victims to heal. The agency supports trainings designed to educate criminal justice and allied professionals regarding the rights and needs of crime victims

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