Q: Filing a petition to confirm an foreign arbitration in California (updated question with more information)

My ex-husband and I are Taiwanese citizens with a property in the United States. We went through courts and arbitration, and after many years of appeals, I was awarded the property in the United States.

I already offered to have the paperwork prepared here in the US and sent to Taiwan for him to sign and get notarized. But he keeps refusing to sign over the property.

I have the original arbitration record and a translated copy notarized by a consular officer at AIT.  Can I file a petition to confirm the arbitration in California (would that help)?  Or is there any other way to transfer ownership of the property even if he continues to refuse to cooperate?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • International Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, you can file a petition to confirm a foreign arbitration award, including those related to property disputes. This process is governed by the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act, which California has adopted. The court will review the arbitration record and, if it meets certain criteria, can confirm the award. Once confirmed, the award has the same effect as a judgment of a California court.

Having the arbitration award translated and notarized by a consular officer is a good step. You'll need to submit these documents along with your petition to the California court. The court will then evaluate whether the arbitration process and the award comply with the principles of fairness and impartiality as required by California law.

If the court confirms the foreign arbitration award, it can then be enforced as if it were a local court order. This enforcement can include the transfer of property ownership, even if your ex-husband refuses to cooperate.

Given the complexity of international law and real estate involved, it's advisable to work with an attorney experienced in these areas. They can guide you through the legal process in California and help ensure that your rights are protected and the foreign arbitration award is effectively enforced.

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