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Recognition and enforcement procedure
What is the formal procedure for seeking recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment?
A party seeking to enforce or recognise a foreign judgment should file an appropriate motion. The court filing fee is NIS1,141 (approximately $300).
Such a motion should be supported by an affidavit regarding the facts and content of the applicable foreign law (possibly in the form of an expert opinion) in order to prove the satisfaction of the conditions for enforcement under Section 3 of the Foreign Judgments Enforcement Law (5718-1958). In addition, a copy of the foreign judgment confirmed by a competent authority of the country where it was given should be attached to the motion.
The party opposing recognition of the foreign judgment is required to file a reply to the application within 30 days should it wish to object to the application.
What is the typical timeframe for the proceedings to grant recognition and enforcement?
It is difficult to estimate the length of this type of proceeding since the time taken depends largely on the defence put forward by the respondent. Assuming that the respondent objects to the motion and evidentiary hearings need to take place before issuing a judgment, first-instance proceedings may take up to one year (or more).
What fees apply to applications for recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments?
The plaintiff is required to pay a filing fee to the court. The amount of the filing fee is determined and occasionally updated in the Court Regulations (Fees) 5767-2007. The filing fee is NIS1,141.
Must the applicant for recognition and enforcement provide security for costs?
No security for costs is necessary in order to apply for recognition or enforcement of foreign judgments.
Are decisions on recognition and enforcement subject to appeal?
Yes. The court's ruling on the recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment is subject to appeal, as are all judgments rendered in Israel.
How does the enforcing court address other costs issues arising in relation to the foreign judgment (eg, calculation of interest, exchange rates)?
The general rule is that every successful plaintiff is entitled to be compensated for interest and ‘linkage’. The general rule is that the losing party pays at least part of the winning party’s legal costs for the proceedings before the Israeli court. The trial court has substantial discretion in determining the amount of costs. In this regard, the court takes into account the amount of the claim as well as the amount of relief awarded. The court may also consider the manner in which the litigants conducted the case.
In addition, Section 10(b) of the Foreign Judgments Enforcement Law states that:
"When a foreign judgment that has been declared enforceable requires a person to make a payment in foreign currency, the obligation shall be discharged in Israel in Israeli currency at the rate of exchange of the day of the payment; Provided that the debtor shall have fulfilled his obligation under the foreign judgment, if he pays what is due.”
Enforcement against third parties
To what extent can the courts enforce a foreign judgment against third parties?
In general, the Israeli courts will not enforce a foreign judgment against third parties. As in the case of a local judgment, a foreign judgment will bind the parties and their successors, but not bind third parties. In this regard, the court may declare a foreign judgment enforceable against a legal successor only on the basis of a proven legal succession to the debt or to the debtor, according to Israeli law.
Partial recognition and enforcement
Can the courts grant partial recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments?
The Israeli courts can grant partial recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. For example, in Casson v Casson (CA 619/89, PD 45(2) 656 (1991)) the court held that there is no impediment to enforce only certain parts of the foreign judgment. The need for partial recognition or enforcement can arise where parts of the foreign judgment are enforceable while other parts are not (eg, a judgment that includes a determination of ownership of an asset, which is not enforceable, alongside a determination for monetary compensation, which is enforceable). In the case of matters concerning domestic relations, this issue may become more complicated. Courts have discussed whether it is possible to enforce only the monetary part of a foreign domestic relations judgment without enforcing the status part of the judgment (eg, whether parties are married or whether their divorce is valid), and this matter has not been resolved in a consistent matter. While some judges are of the view that such partial recognition or enforcement is possible, others consider such partial recognition or enforcement to be in violation of Israeli public policy.
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