Venezuela - Enforcement of Money Judgments
Dr. Eugenio Hernández-Bretón, Baker & McKenzie
Originally from Enforcement of Money Judgments
I. PRESENT ATTITUDE TOWARD ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN MONEY JUDGMENTS
A. Describe the receptiveness of your government (including courts) toward enforcement of foreign money judgments.
Although the Venezuelan Supreme Court has had relative limited experience in the enforcement of foreign money judgments in comparison to foreign divorce judgments, the Court has been flexible when dealing with petitions for enforcement of foreign judgments, ordering their enforcement in a very significant amount of cases.
From reading Article 151 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 47 of the Act of Rules on Private International Law, it is possible to infer a strong governmental opposition toward the recognition and enforcement of any foreign judgment related to contracts entered into by the Republic of Venezuela or its instrumentalities.
B. Briefly describe recent illustrative attempts, whether successful or unsuccessful, to enforce a foreign money judgment in your country, particularly with regard to enforcement of any judgments from United States courts.
On 3 December 2002, the Supreme Court granted exequatur to a judgment rendered on 15 March 1999 by the First Instance Court, Superior Chamber, San Juan de Puerto Rico (Eduardo García Pérez, dba Perseo Industrial v. IPA Industria Productos Asfálticos, F. Haas & Cía. Scrs., S.A.), whereby the defendant was ordered to pay the plaintiff US$ 506,823.75 plus 8.75% annual interest thereon, and additionally court costs, and US$ 50,682 for attorney’s fees.
The underlying cause of action arose out of a Distribution Agreement for the Island of Puerto Rico executed between the parties in 1989, which was terminated in 1993. The claim for breach of contract was brought under Puerto Rican Law 75 of 24 June 1964.
The defendant in the exequatur proceedings alleged that Puerto Rican courts did not have jurisdiction on the case because the Distribution Agreement was executed in Venezuela, and title to the goods and delivery of possession thereof happened in Venezuela.