In Independence Plaza 1 Associates, L.L.C. v. Figliolini, the Ontario Court of Appeal resolved the inconsistency in the law on the applicable limitation periods for the enforcement of foreign judgments in Ontario.
Prior to the Court of Appeal's judgment, there were two lines of authority from the Superior Court of Justice. In some cases, trial judges applied the basic two-year limitation period in Ontario's Limitations Act, 2002 to the enforcement of foreign judgments. In other cases, trial judges determined that such claims qualified as "a proceeding to enforce an order of a court" within the meaning s. 16 of the Act, and therefore were not subject to any limitation period.
The Court of Appeal considered both lines of authority and concluded that a claim to enforce a foreign judgment did not qualify for the exemption in s. 16 of the Act, and thus the basic two-year limitation period applies to claims to enforce foreign judgments. That limitation period begins to run once the right to appeal the foreign judgment (in the foreign jurisdiction) has expired or is exhausted.
This case means that foreign judgment creditors must act quickly to seek enforcement of judgments in Ontario. A "foreign judgment" is any judgment obtained outside of Ontario, although as a result of Ontario's reciprocal jurisdictions legislation, a six-year limitation period will continue to apply to the enforcement of judgments from provinces and territories outside of Ontario (other than Quebec) and to the enforcement of judgments from the United Kingdom.