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Saturday, March 08, 2014

DEBTORS DID NOT HAVE TO BRING STOCK CERTIFICATES BACK INTO FLORIDA

A Florida court ordered defendants to turn over stock certificates located outside of Florida evincing their ownership interest in several foreign entities to satisfy a judgment. On appeal, the appellate court ordered that that Florida court lacked jurisdiction for such a turnover order. Presumably, the plaintiffs will need to pursue their claims in the foreign jurisdictions where the certificates are held.

Some observations:

a. That the defendants were subject to in personam jurisdiction did not change the result.

b. The result might have been different if the plaintiffs had a perfected lien on the stock certificates.

c. One of the concerns of the appellate court was that there may be competing claims to ownership of the asset, and that those should be resolved in the jurisdiction where the property is situated.

d. Allowing such a broad reach would conflict with the policy behind domestication of foreign judgment statutes.

e. Wow – quite an easy way to move assets beyond the reach of a Florida court!

HARRY SARGEANT, III, MUSTAFA ABU-NABA'A, and INTERNATIONAL OIL TRADING COMPANY, LLC, a Florida corporation, Appellants, v. MOHAMMAD ANWAR FARID AL-SALEH, Appellee, 39 Fla.L.Weekly D488a, 4th District. Case No. 4D13-1447. March 5, 2014.

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