International Judgment Collection

May 14, 2013
The unanimous decision of the New York Court of Appeals in Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands v. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (April 30, 2013) (Rivera, J.) (CIBC) clarifies the landscape of judgment collection in New York against debtors with assets at international
banks with a New York presence and provides some protection for assets held at foreign affiliates of New York garnishees. For international enterprises, especially banks and other financial institutions, the decision confirms established due process and procedural safeguards for subsidiaries and affiliates around the world. However, certain significant issues remain open to further resolution by the courts, including whether the “separate entity” doctrine remains as a bulwark against attempts to attach or collect foreign-held assets through service upon a New York branch of a foreign bank.