Collateral Estoppel

This is one of my many judgment articles: I'm a Judgment referral expert, not an attorney. This article is only my opinion, please hire an attorney if you require legal advice.

A collateral estoppel judgment is a type of a common law estoppel doctrine and issue preclusion which stops someone from bringing to court the same issues. After the court has already ruled on the issues after considering the laws and/or facts required for their judgment, their ruling stops re-litigating identical in future lawsuits on another cause of action that involves one of the parties that was in the 1st judgment.

The reason for precluding an issue is to prevent legal waste and harassment and to help prevent the abuse of court resources.

Potential parties may be stopped from litigating prior court rulings. The factors that stop re-litigation can be law or issues of fact.

Judgments need to come from a court with proper jurisdiction over the subject and personal matters. Judgments coming from state courts get preclusion when they are moved moved to other federal and state courts because of the (US constitution) Full Faith and Credit Clause.

A judgment error doesn't invalidate the court's decision. Errors need to be appealed. Collateral estoppel applies even when there's a mistake on a judgment, or when there's a legal error made.

A collateral estoppel judgment doesn't stop somebody from later appealing a court ruling, or one of the parties from sometime later arguing to some judge, and requesting for a new ruling.

Particularly for lawsuits in federal courts, judgments that get appealed are most often preclusive. But, if a judgment gets vacated, the reclusiveness disappears.

The majority of courts do not require mutuality (both the plaintiff and the defendant from the previous lawsuit are requesting the collateral estoppel judgment) as a requirement. With no mutuality, courts are more reluctant to grant a collateral estoppel judgment against the defendant in the prior judgment, if the defendant is sued by another plaintiff on identical issue(s).

A judgment for collateral estoppel may raise issues due to constitutional due process, particularly if it's applied to someone who didn't show up for the previous lawsuit. Due process means that collateral estoppel is applied to someone who has actually argued in court for the issue(s) that were disputed.

All litigants are able to have a day at court, and most often can't be stopped by the failure of some other side's suit, even when the other party had the same legal and factual arguments. Collateral estoppel can either be used offensively or defensively; either non-mutually or mutually.

A collateral estoppel lawsuit may be bypassed as a defense, when the defendant didn't get a full and fair chance to argue any issue(s) ruled on by some state court. If that should happen, the losing side might later start a suit at a federal court to question the competency of the state court. With this circumstance, the plaintiff's suit would be verses the state, not verses the other side in the previous lawsuit.

The res judicata doctrine can be raised for a defense for another suit, that has identical laws and claims as a previous suit. Res judicata is final for any matter that have been argued, and any matter that could have been argued in the previous suit. With collateral estoppel lawsuits, the judgment just can cover the issues which have been already argued.

Mark Shapiro - Judgment Broker - http://www.JudgmentReferral.com - where Judgments go and are quickly Collected!

This article was published on 27 Aug 2014 and has been viewed 561 times
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