Registering interstate judgments
Registering an interstate judgment enables a money order made by another state or territory court to be enforced in Queensland.
When the enforcement debtor (person required to pay the money) lives in Queensland, the judgment can be registered in a Queensland court of similar jurisdiction for enforcement.
Register the judgment with the Magistrates Court in the district where the enforcement debtor lives.
The interstate court (the ‘court of rendition’) must be able to enforce the order as if the enforcement debtor still lived in that state.
Once the judgment is registered, it can be enforced as if it were a judgment of a Queensland court.
There is a fee for registering an interstate judgment—check with your local Magistrates Court.
Registering a money order in Queensland
You must obtain a certified copy of the money order from the home court that made the order you wish to enforce.
Send this original certified copy to the Magistrates Court in Queensland where you wish to register the order and ask them to register it with them. Enclose the relevant fee.
You may wish to enclose the enforcement application at the same time, depending how you wish to enforce the order.
If you enclose the enforcement application at the same time, tell the court in your affidavit that the order:
- has not been satisfied by the enforcement debtor
- is still capable of being enforced in the original interstate court of rendition.
Claiming the additional costs
You can claim the additional fees for the certified copy of the original order and the filing fee to register the order in Queensland. This applies no matter what enforcement proceedings you decide to undertake.
If the interstate court allows you to claim interest after judgment, you can continue to claim interest after registering the judgment in Queensland in line with the legislation of the home state or territory.
State this clearly in your supporting affidavit regardless which type of enforcement action you decide to undertake.
If the debtor moves elsewhere
If the debtor moves elsewhere in Queensland after you have applied for the warrant, you can either:
- apply for an enforcement hearing at your nearest Magistrates Court, though you need to give the enforcement debtor conduct money to attend the hearing, which you can’t claim
- register the order at the nearest Magistrates Court to where the debtor has moved and apply for an enforcement hearing at the court.
Decide what is right for your circumstances and seek legal advice if you wish.
You won’t need to pay the registration fee again. Contact the Magistrates Court in Queensland where you originally filed the interstate order (home court) and ask them for a sealed copy of the judgment to file with another Magistrates Court.
The fee to do this is considerably less and is also claimable.
The sealed copy you will get from the home court will be a photocopy of the interstate order endorsed as being registered at that court.
If you need more specific information about your circumstances, obtain independent legal advice from a trained lawyer.