Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Claim Preclusion and Issue Preclusion

   
BOTH CLAIM PRECLUSION AND ISSUE PRECLUSION FALL UNDER THE RUBRIC "RES JUDICATA" --BROADLY SPEAKING  
(loosly translated from Latin as "stuff already decided by a judge")
  
But the case law nevertheless makes distinction between res judicata narrowly speaking and collateral estoppel

The term res judicata "is the generic term for a group of related concepts concerning the conclusive effects given final judgments." Barr v. Resolution Trust Corp., 837 S.W.2d 627, 628 (Tex. 1992). "Within this general doctrine, there are two principal categories: (1) claim preclusion (also known as res judicata); and (2) issue preclusion (also known as collateral estoppel)." Id.
 
The category at issue in this case, claim preclusion, "prevents the relitigation of a claim or cause of action that has been finally adjudicated, as well as related matters that, with the use of diligence, should have been litigated in the prior suit." Id.
 
Claim preclusion prohibits the "assertion of a claim in a subsequent case when (1) there is a final determination on the merits by a court of competent jurisdiction; (2) the parties in the second action are the same or in privity with those in the first action; and (3) the second action is based on the same claims as were raised or could have been raised in the first action." Pipes v. Hemingway, 358 S.W.3d 438, 448 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2012, no pet.). Accordingly, a second suit asserting "`matters actually litigated and on causes of action or defenses arising out of the same subject matter that might have been litigated in the first suit'" is precluded by the doctrine of res judicata. Id. (quoting Travelers Ins. Co. v. Joachim, 315 S.W.3d 860, 862 (Tex. 2010)).

Cf. Harris Cnty. v. Sykes, 136 S.W.3d 635, 640 (Tex. 2004) (stating that "a dismissal constitutes a final determination on the merits of the matter actually decided"); Ritchey v. Vasquez, 986 S.W.2d 611, 612 (Tex. 1999) (per curiam) (explaining that dismissal with prejudice qualifies as final determination on merits). 

See Hallco Tex., Inc. v. McMullen Cnty., 221 S.W.3d 50, 58 (Tex. 2006) (explaining that doctrine of res judicata "requires claims arising out of the same subject matter to be litigated in a single lawsuit").

SOURCE: AUSTIN COURT OF APPEAL - No. 03-11-00091-CV – 2/1/2013 – Smith v. City of Blanco

 
In Hallco Tex., Inc. v. McMullen Cnty., 221 S.W.3d 50, 58 (Tex. 2006), the Texas Supreme Court summarized the doctrine, and explained the rationale for it, as follows:

The doctrine of res judicata, or claim preclusion, bars a second action by parties and their privies on matters actually litigated in a previous suit, as well as claims "`which, through the exercise of diligence, could have been litigated in a prior suit.'" Getty Oil Co. v. Ins. Co. of N. Am., 845 S.W.2d 794, 799 (Tex.1992) (quoting Barr v. Resolution Trust Corp., 837 S.W.2d 627, 631 (Tex.1992)).
 
We apply the transactional approach to res judicata, which requires claims arising out of the same subject matter to be litigated in a single lawsuit. Barr, 837 S.W.2d at 631. The res-judicata doctrine "serves vital public interests" by promoting the finality of judgments. San Remo Hotel, L.P. v. San Francisco, 545 U.S. 323, 345, 125 S.Ct. 2491, 162 L.Ed.2d 315 (2005).
 
We have recognized that the doctrine prevents needless, repetitive litigation, John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Mem'l Found. v. Dewhurst, 90 S.W.3d 268, 288-89 (Tex.2002) (citing Parklane Hosiery Co. v. Shore, 439 U.S. 322, 326, 99 S.Ct. 645, 58 L.Ed.2d 552 (1979)), and in doing so, "advance[s] the interest[s] of the litigants (who must pay for each suit), the courts (who must try each suit), and the public (who must provide jurors and administration for each suit)." Schneider Nat'l Carriers, Inc., v. Bates, 147 S.W.3d 264, 278 (Tex. 2004).


 

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