PA 17-88—SB 1020

Judiciary Committee

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

SUMMARY: This act establishes the conditions under which a Connecticut court may recognize a foreign defamation judgment. In doing so, 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 act also establishes the requirements needed for the court to have personal jurisdiction over such a matter.

Under the act, 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

Under the act, in order to enforce a foreign defamation judgment, a Connecticut court must first determine the following: that the defamation law applied in a foreign country's court provided the defendant with the same or greater protections for free speech and free press provided by the United States Constitution and the Connecticut Constitution. If the court does not make this finding, it cannot recognize a foreign defamation judgment, regardless of the provisions of the Uniform Foreign-Money Claims Act and the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act.

The act defines a “foreign country” as any country other than the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or insular possession subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

CONNECTICUT COURTS' JURISDICTION

Under the act, a Connecticut court has 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.

The jurisdiction is for the purpose of recognizing a foreign defamation judgment and rendering declaratory relief with respect to someone's liability for such a judgment.