The new postjudgment opportunities suggested in the published case of WV 23 Jumpstart, LLC v. Mynarcik (D3 Nov. 21, 2022) No. C095046. The court holds that an out-of-state money judgment may be domesticated in California, even though California lacks personal jurisdiction over the defendant. There are two reasons you should take strong notice of this if other states follow this approach:
(1) Judgments accrue interest at different rates depending on state law, so you should domesticate all your judgments in a high-yield jurisdiction—the highest yields are in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, at 12%.
(2) Judgments lapse after a certain time depending on state law, so you should domesticate all your judgments in a “stay-fresh” jurisdiction (e.g., judgments never expire in Delaware).
Here is what happened in Jumpstart:
Nevada issued a $1.5 million judgment against loan guarantors. Lenders then got the judgment domesticated in California. The Nevada judgment expired in 2016. But the California judgment remained.
Nevada-based defendant Mynarcik had no contacts or assets in California. Jumpstart, the new assignee of the judgment, wanted to enforce the judgment against Mynarcik in Nevada, but the Nevada judgment had been expired for several years already. So Jumpstart decided to take the domesticated California judgment and domesticate it right back to Nevada. A little like standing in a bucket and pulling yourself up by the handle, but worth a shot.
Mynarcik raised a personal jurisdiction challenge to the California judgment. The Sacramento Superior Court agreed, but the Court of Appeal reversed, finding a court does not need personal jurisdiction to domesticate a sister-state judgment.
I am curious to know what the #AppellateLinkedIn community thinks about this one. Will other state courts follow this reasoning?