Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Malloy Signs Act Protecting Citizens Against Foreign Judgments

Connecticut Seal(Thanks to Jane Bate for bringing this to our attention.)

On June 27th, Gov. Dan Malloy signed into law Public Act No. 17-88 (SB 1020).  The bill, which takes effect on October 1st of this year is designed to assure the free speech rights of those subject to defamation judgments rendered by foreign courts are protected in the same manner as they would be protected in a Connecticut court.

Text of the bill follows.

Senate Bill No. 1020
Public Act No. 17-88


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened: 

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2017) (a) As used in this section, (1) "foreign defamation judgment" means any defamation judgment, decree or order of a court of a foreign country which is entitled to full faith and credit in this state, and (2) "foreign country" means any country other than the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. 

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of chapters 861a and 928 of the general statutes, a foreign defamation judgment shall not be recognized in the court in which enforcement of the foreign defamation judgment is sought, unless the court first determines that the defamation law applied in a foreign country's court provided a defendant in the matter with the same or greater protections for freedom of speech and freedom of the press as would be provided by the first amendment to the United States Constitution and sections 4, 5 and 6 of article first of the Constitution of this state. 

(c) For the purposes of rendering declaratory relief with respect to a person's liability for a foreign defamation judgment and determining whether the foreign defamation judgment should be recognized under subsection (b) of this section, a court of this state shall have personal jurisdiction over any person who obtains a foreign defamation judgment against a person or entity who: (1) Is a resident of this state; (2) has assets in this state; (3) is subject to the jurisdiction of this state; or (4) may have to take action in this state to comply with the judgment. 

Approved June 27, 2017

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