Legal
~ ~ ~
Statute of Limitations
 on Foreign Judgments in Texas

- a case study -

Cause No. D-n-GN-0n-00nnnn
Some County District Court, Some Judicial District
Plaintiff vs. Defendant

 

Table of Documents
(Click on this link to view Table of Documents, Procedures, Rules, and Citations)

 

COMMENTARY

Item Origin

Document

COMMENT

1 P

Authenticated Copy of
Foreign Judgment Order

24 Aug 1999

This document instantly becomes legally enforceable upon filing with any Texas Clerk of Court.  So if you receive notice of such being filed against you, you had better take immediate action if you have a defense against it.

2 P

Affidavit in Support of Filing
Foreign Judgment

24 Aug 1999

A required document to Item 1.  The Clerk of Court normally will not process the Foreign Judgment without it, but its absence is merely a correctable defect.

3 P

Notice of Filing
Foreign Judgment

24 Aug 1999

A required document to Item 1.  This is normally how a Defendant will receive notice that a Foreign Judgment has been domesticated in Texas.  The Clerk of Court normally will not process the Foreign Judgment without it, but its absence is merely a correctable defect.  The Clerk of Court has no way of knowing whether a Defendant actually received it.  While the Notice has a Cause Number and is styled as a Lawsuit, it is in fact a completed cause and needs no further action, ruling, or order from the Court to be enforceable.  

4 P

Certificate of Service

15 Sep 1999

The Plaintiff is certifying that he has sent the Defendant a copy of Items 1, 2, & 3 above.  Note that this Certificate of Service is dated 22 days after documents 1,2, &3 were filed with the Clerk of Court, which is the normal response time limit given to a Defendant to respond to a pleading. In the case of a Foreign Judgment, there is some case law that opines that there is no time limit for the Defendant to raise an affirmative defense.

5 D

Objection to Filing
Foreign Judgment

22 Sep 1999

In a Foreign Judgment cause, all the filings of the Defendant are in the nature of a cross-complaint. Defendant here is raising the ten-year time limit for bringing a Foreign Judgment to Texas. The defense must be pleaded, and until a Court rules in favor of the Defendant, the now domesticated Foreign Judgment is enforceable against me in Texas.

Defendant also attached an Affidavit of Texas Residence and authenticated copies of Texas drivers licenses, Texas voter certificates, and other Texas-issued documents.

6 P Letter Request for Abstract of Texas Judgment
28 Sep 1999
Before a Judgment can be enforced, the Clerk of Court must create an Abstract of the Judgment, after which the Plaintiff may swear out a Writ of Attachment for a Sheriff to seize  non-exempt property to satisfy the Judgment.  The Plaintiff is requesting such an abstract.  However, in a Foreign Judgment cause, once a defense has been raised, the Clerk of Court will usually delay action on creating an abstract.  The Clerk of Court is under no legal obligation to delay the abstract, and if the Defendant is concerned, he may request a stay of execution.
7

D

Motion for
Summary Judgment

24 Oct 1999

If the Plaintiff had challenged the factual nature of any of the Defendant's evidence in pleading the ten-year time limit, such as whether the Defendant was a Texas resident, then such contested issues would go to trial.  In this particular case, the Plaintiff did not contest the Defendant's evidence, and after the required response time limit had expired, with no issues of fact in contention, the Defendant moved for Summary Judgment.

8

D

Documents in Support of Motion for
Summary Judgment

4 Nov 1999

The rules on motions for summary judgment require all the supporting documents to be a part of the Motion for Summary Judgment.  In this particular case, additional documents were added after the motion was filed.  Whenever such additional documents are added, it extends the non-movant's time to respond.

 

9

D

Additional Documents in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment

9 Nov 1999

10

D

Affidavit of Service
on Defendant

in Support of Motion
for Summary Judgment

10 Nov 1999

This was added by the Defendant to document the Plaintiff's Service on Defendant, which had not been filed with the Clerk of Court.  This was necessary for Defendant to preserve his rights in the possibility that the Plaintiff might claim the Defendant's response was not timely.

11

C

Hearing
24 Nov 1999

In this Hearing, the Plaintiff did not appear, and the Judge suggested the Hearing be rescheduled so the Plaintiff's response time under the Rules would be preserved (and not be grounds for an appeal.) 
12

D

Notice of
Rescheduled Hearing
24 Nov 1999

The hearing on Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is reset.  This is notice to the Plaintiff of the new hearing Date, Time, and Place.

13

P

Plaintiff's Nonsuit
Without Prejudice
16 Dec 1999

Plaintiff sends the Defendant a Nonsuit Without Prejudice, which is a smart move when it appears the cause is lost and he wants to preserve his right to bring the cause again under more favorable circumstances. In this particular case, it does not appear that this Nonsuit was ever filed with the Clerk of Court.

14

D

Motion to Quash
Plaintiff's Nonsuit

28 Dec 1999

Defendant objects to a Nonsuit Without Prejudice, but suggests a Dismissal With Prejudice would be acceptable.

15

C

Hearing
5 Jan 2000

At this Hearing the Plaintiff again did not appear.  The Defendant provided a copy of Plaintiff's Nonsuit Without Prejudice to the Court, and requested the Motion to Quash be combined with the Motion for Summary Judgment. The Judge took the entire matter under advisement for consideration.  No ruling was rendered at this Hearing.

16

P

Plaintiff's Nonsuit
Without Prejudice
5 Jan 2000

Plaintiff's Nonsuit Without Prejudice was given to the Court by the Fefendant at the 5 January Hearing,  formally entered into the Court Docket.  .

17

P

Plaintiff's Nonsuit
With Prejudice
7Jan 2000

Plaintiff formally files a Nonsuit With Prejudice, perhaps at the suggestion of the Judge's staff,  which might be considered as ex parte communication, but in this case it works in favor of the Defendant.  As Plaintiff's last filed pleading, it would supplant his prior nonsuit without prejudice.

18

C

ORDER
12 Jan 2000

The final order is what Defendant asked for,  and close to what the Plaintiff asks for in his last pleading, , except he asks for a "nonsuit," which in Texas is not distinguished from a "dismissal."  The "with prejudice" term in the order means the Foreign Judgment cannot be brought again in Texas, which is very important to me as Defendant.  The order is very short, but unlikely to be appealed because both parties essentially and voluntarily ask for what is essentially the same outcome in Texas.  

    P - Plaintiff submitted                    NOTE:  Total time for this lawsuit, from inception to final judgment,  was just under 5 months.

    D - Defendant submitted

    C - before of by a judge

       -  refers to a section of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code

  Rule - refers to a rule of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure

2000 Simon Revere Mouer III, PhD, PE, all rights reserved