OLR Bill Analysis

SB-1020

AN ACT CONCERNING THE ENFORCEMENT OF A DEFAMATION JUDGMENT ENTERED BY A COURT OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES.

SUMMARY

This bill establishes the conditions under which a Connecticut court may recognize a foreign defamation judgment. In so doing, it affords a person subject to the enforcement of such a judgment the same or greater free speech and free press protections as do the U.S. Constitution and Connecticut constitution.

The bill also establishes the requirements needed for the court to have personal jurisdiction over such a matter.

Under the bill, a "foreign defamation judgment" is any defamation judgment, decree, or order of a court of a foreign country which is entitled to full faith and credit in Connecticut.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

CONDITIONS FOR A COURT TO RECOGNIZE A FOREIGN DEFAMATION JUDGMENT

The bill requires the court in which enforcement of a foreign defamation judgment is sought to first determine that the defamation law applied in a foreign country's court provided a defendant in the matter with the same or greater protections for free speech and free press as are provided by the United States Constitution and the Connecticut constitution. Unless the court first makes this finding, a foreign defamation judgment must not be recognized, regardless of the provisions of the Uniform Foreign-Money Claims Act and the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act.

Under the bill, a "foreign country" is any country other than the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or insular possession subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

CONNECTICUT COURT'S JURISDICTION

Under the bill, to recognize a foreign defamation judgment and render declaratory relief with respect to someone's liability for such a judgment, a Connecticut court must have personal jurisdiction over any person who obtains a foreign defamation judgment against a person or entity who:

1. is a Connecticut resident;

2. has assets in Connecticut;

3. is subject to Connecticut's jurisdiction; or

4. may have to take action in Connecticut to comply with the judgment.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

39

Nay

0

(03/31/2017)