Nonrecognition of Foreign Libel Judgments

A California legal development from last year that I missed, in Cal. Code Civil Proc. §§ 1716-1717, amending California’s version of the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act:

1716. … (c) A court of this state is not required to recognize a foreign-country judgment if …

(9) The judgment includes recovery for a claim of defamation unless the court determines that the defamation law applied by the foreign court provided at least as much protection for freedom of speech and the press as provided by both the United States and California Constitutions….

1717…. (c) If a judgment was rendered in an action for defamation in a foreign country against a person who is a resident of California or a person or entity amenable to jurisdiction in California, and declaratory relief with respect to liability for the judgment or a determination that the judgment is not recognizable in California under Section 1716 is sought, a court has jurisdiction to determine the declaratory relief action as well as personal jurisdiction over the person or entity who obtained the foreign-country judgment if both of the following apply:

(1) The publication at issue was published in California.

(2) The person who is a resident, or the person or entity who is amenable to jurisdiction in California, either (A) has assets in California that might be subject to an enforcement proceeding to satisfy the foreign-country defamation judgment, or (B) may have to take actions in California to comply with the foreign-country defamation judgment….

Sounds good to me. Thanks to my colleague Steve Yeazell for the pointer.

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