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Post-judgment Discovery to Collect a Federal Money Judgment

"What is the deadline under Florida law for completing post-judgment discovery for the purpose of collecting a federal money judgment issued by a federal court in Florida?" The Florida Supreme Court recently answered that question in Salinas v. Ramsey, No. SC17-823, 43 Fla. L. Weekly S40, 2018 WL 549183, 2018 Fla. LEXIS 182 (Fla. Jan. 25, 2018), which the Eleventh Circuit certified in Salinas v. Ramsey, D.C. Docket No. 1:03-cv-22046-KMW, 2018 WL 704584, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 2786, *n.2 (11th Cir. Feb. 5, 2018).

The Florida Supreme Court held that such post-judgment discovery “is permitted for a period of twenty years from the date the judgment was entered.” See Salinas v. Ramsey, No. SC17-823, 2018 WL 549183, at *1 (Fla. Jan. 25, 2018). The Florida Supreme Court explained that “post-judgment discovery is not an ‘action,’ and section 95.11 does not establish when it must begin.” Id. at *3. That being the case, post-judgment discovery “is appropriate as long as the judgment is enforceable,” which under Florida law is for twenty years. Id.

Accordingly, the Eleventh Circuit noted that because the Florida Supreme Court’s decision undermines the circuit court's interpretation of Florida law in Balfour Beatty Bahamas, Ltd. v. Bush, 170 F.3d 1048 (11th Cir. 1999), it is no longer binding in the Eleventh Circuit.

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