Madsen Law P.C. recently scored a victory on behalf of its client Banque de l’Union Haïtienne (BUH) – a bank located in the Republic of Haiti – and defeated a plaintiff’s attempt to have the New York Supreme Court recognize a foreign judgment. In the case Dominique Richard v. BUH et al., No. 157915/2020 (Hagler, J.S.C.), the plaintiff sought the confirmation of a judgment exceeding $7 million that had been rendered in her favor by the Cour d’Appel de Port-au-Prince in litigation over a series of land purchases in Haiti. On behalf of BUH, Madsen Law P.C. argued that the foreign judgment was not “final, conclusive and enforceable where rendered” as contemplated by the Uniform Foreign Country Money-Judgments Recognition Act (CPLR Article 53), and thus not subject to recognition in New York. Through expert witness testimony and documentary evidence, Madsen Law P.C. demonstrated that the plaintiff had not complied with Haitian law relating to judgment enforcement procedures in Haiti, and that the judgment was not final in Haiti because it was still being challenged before the country’s highest court, the Cour de Cassation. On April 11, 2022, Justice Hagler agreed, finding that BUH’s challenges to the foreign judgment put the burden on the plaintiff to establish that the New York court had personal jurisdiction over BUH, which she failed to do. The court therefore dismissed the case in its entirety.
Madsen Law P.C. worked with co-counsel, Heidi Wendel of the Law Office of Heidi A. Wendel PLLC, on this matter.