Let’s say you obtained damages recovery judgment from a U.S. court against a Korean residing in the states. Soon after your excitement for the winning judgment, however, you found he had no assets in the states to fulfill your judgment. This could also happen in litigation between U.S. citizens in a U.S. court where the losing defendant moved to South Korea and there are no assets left in the U.S. You might have spent quite a large amount of legal fees to win the judgment already, but you think your judgment is now in great peril to become useless. This horrible situation might frustrate you.
But, don’t worry too much. You can enforce your duly obtained U.S judgment in South Korea. If you are sure the defendant has enough assets to cover your claims in the judgment and your legal fees, you are encouraged to file an enforcement order for a foreign judgment to a Korean court.
You have unpaid receivables from a Korean company or personnel. The Korean counterpart doesn’t reply or refuses/delays the payment arguing some unacceptable reasons. The Korean counterpart might be acting in a hope that the long distance between the two works in their favor. You may also feel helpless or sometimes frustrated confronted by language barriers and different laws.
That is the time to consider hiring a local lawyer. The Korean business and litigation lawyer can guide you through the whole process of debt collections in South Korea.
Living abroad is stressful. Suffering injury by accident in a foreign country would be one of the worst cases you don’t even want to imagine. Our office is providing legal advice and representation for foreign victims to seek damages in various types of accidents.
In this article, our personal injury lawyer in Seoul, Korea explains what you need to know about the personal injury lawyers in Korea and what you can expect from them.
[Updated on March 20th, 2020] In South Korea, the immigration office may remove or deport from South Korea any person who violated the Immigration Control Act(“ICA”). Any person who is released after receiving a sentence of fine, imprisonment, or heavier punishment could be removed from Korea by an exit or a deportation order under ICA. In this article, we will provide a general overview of an exit and deportation order under Korean immigration law. (more…)
“I am an adoptee from South Korea to the U.S. Currently I live in the U.S. Recently I found my biological parents died in South Korea. He is survived by his wife and 2 sons. He had businesses in Korea. Can an adopted child inherit from biological parents in Korea? I have never met or spoken to his wife and sons and so I don’t know if he had a will written. What are my inheritance rights under Korean law?”
Everything Boils Down to Whether it is Full Adoption or Simple Adoption
A legal child is entitled to inheritance from his/her deceased parent. When the child is adopted, some jurisdictions treat the adoption as disconnecting the legal relationship with the biological parent, and some jurisdictions don’t. We call the former as a full adoption and the latter as a simple adoption.
As you can understand from the general idea of inheritance, an adopted child can inherit from biological parents in Korea only when the adoption is regarded as (more…)
We are taking about a situation where a foreigner is accused of any crime in Korea but he has already left Korea for any reason. Some might come back to Korea to defend himself or some might just ignore it. However, just ignoring can’t free you from the potential legal risk. You won’t be allowed to enter into Korea and could be arrested at the border. Recently, Korean Police is very active in requesting the INTERPOL to issue a red notice in order to have law enforcement worldwide locate and provisionally arrest the suspect.
Then can a foreign suspect resolve a pending criminal investigation case while staying abroad? The answer is yes, but in a very exceptional case. The Korean prosecutors are having a strict position that all suspects must appear at the face-to-face interrogation with the investigating authority. If the suspect refuses to do so or the Korean prosecutor can’t locate the suspect, the prosecutor suspends the investigation and asks the court to issue an arrest warrant. This warrant is noticed to the Korean immigration office. As a result, the suspect could be arrested when s/he passes the Korean border. Being abroad are usually insufficient as a just excuse.
There are, however, certain exceptions where the criminal case can be resolved without the suspect’s personal appearance: (more…)
Q) I’m an American and my wife is Korean. She is living in Korea and I have returned to the USA. We have agreed to divorce. However, I can’t go back to Korea just to sign the papers. Is it possible to have her do it? Or have her email me the divorce agreement for me to sign and return to her? I just want to know how to divorce when the spouse doesn’t live in Korea.
Spouses Can Live in Different Country to File for Divorce in Korea
In general, the Korean court requires at least one spouse to reside in Korea in order to process the divorce filing. Thus, the fact that one spouse resides in a foreign country doesn’t bar a spouse living in Korea to file for divorce. The issue, however, lies in a procedural matter.
I am a U.S. citizen. I currently have a very complicated inheritance case in South Korea. My father passed away 10 years ago in the U.S. and his two Korean half brothers in Korea are currently suing my family for my father’s portion as well as my father’s sister’s portion as she passed away many years ago. They are claiming they want 60% of my father’s portion and all of my aunt. There is no will left by my grandfather. They are claiming that they took care of the grandfather who was a Korean citizen. However, when my father was alive he also sent money regularly to his father and his half brothers but as it was more than 10 years ago I am uncertain how to proceed.
Governing Law Issue
Inheritance gets more complicated when it has some sort of multinational issues. Here the Korean heirs sued the U.S. heirs at the Korean court. The deceased was a Korean national and it is probable that the majority of the estate is located in Korea. That might be one of the reasons why this case should be litigated in Korea, not the U.S.
In an international inheritance case, we first need to find out which country’s law shall apply. As this case was filed with the Korean court, the Korean court decides this issue pursuant to their own choice of law doctrines. According to the Korean choice of law, the law of the deceased’s country shall become the governing law. That means, in our case, the Korean Inheritance law shall apply. (Please refer to this article regarding the basic of Korean Inheritance law)
Q) This past weekend I was involved in some altercation with a Korean guy at the local bar. I pushed him slightly, but he fell down and broke his wrist. He phoned a police officer and filed a criminal accusation against me. I am an E-2 visa holder. What can I do now to help myself?
A) If you are a first offender and had no other criminal record, I don’t think this case becomes a serious one. However, as you are a foreigner, any conviction could lead to an exit order and an entry ban decision from the Korean immigration office. Under the current rule, if a foreigner is fined more than 5,000,000KRW for any crime in Korea, the immigration office can issue an exit order and a future visa application and extension could be denied. It can also result in an entry ban. Under the rule, the duration of the entry ban is as follows:
- the total amount of fine for the last 1 year exceeds 5,000,000KRW: 1 year
- committed any crime more than 2 times for the last 1 year: 1 year
- the amount of fine is between (more…)
Recently our office represented U.S. parents whose adoption application had been denied by the Korean court. The adoption was processed as an institutional adoption which is regulated by the Act on Special Cases Concerning the Promotion and Procedure of Adoption. Institutional adoption, often called an orphanage adoption, is under more strict regulation and qualifications than a private adoption. In this case, the 1st instance court of Seoul Family Court denied the U.S. parents’ adoption petition due to the concern caused by the adoptive parent’s past medical history of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Our office took this case at the appellate court level. We reviewed the entire record and documents from the beginning and found that the lower court’s finding and the conclusion were not based on the true facts, but on the vague concern. We even found a critical error in the translation of the ODC evaluation report provided by the Korean adoption agency.
We argued in front of the appellate judges that U.S. medical professionals had stated that the petitioner’s OCD did not harm his suitability as an adoptive parent. He also pointed out that the U.S. government had (more…)