Res Judicata

Legal Definition and Related Resources of Res judicata

Meaning of Res judicata

A legal or equitable Issue which has been decided by a court of competent jurisdiction. To constitute a matter res judicata, so that, in a subsequent action, it cannot be drawn in question, (1) the court deciding the issue must have had jurisdiction (10 Pet. [U. S.] 474) ; (2) there must be identity of the subject matter of the action (7 Johns. [N. Y.] 20); (3) identity of the cause of action (8 Conn. 268; 3 Pick. [Mass.] 429), though the form of action may be different if it be of the same general class, or if the remedies be concurrent (12 Gray [Mass.] 428; 28 Minn. 450; 82 Ky. 505); (4) identity of parties (4 Mass. 441; 5 Me. 410; 23 Barb. [N. Y.] 464), but privies of the parties are bound (see Privy; 52 N. H. 162; 98 N. Y. 351);
(5) identity of capacity in which they sue or are sued (4 C. B. 884; 21 Ala. 813);
(6) and there must have been a final determination of the issues (143 Mass. 413; 104 111. 369) ; (7) on the merits (91 U. S. 526; 42 Mich. 459); (8) upon the particular issue (7 Gray [Mass.] 502), but the adjudication is final upon every matter which might have been litigated under the issues made (102 N. Y. 452). In Proceedings In Rem. Identity of parties is not essential, the adjudication attaching to the res. See 1 Mete. (Mass.) 204.

Res Judicata Legal Definition

A rule of civil law that once something has been decided in court, it can’t be fought out again in court.


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Res Judicata in the Dictionary Res Judicata in our legal dictionaries
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This definition of Res Judicata is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

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See also

Res Adjudicata in the American legal Encyclopedia

“Res Judicata” in Maritime Law

Note: There is more information on maritime/admiralty law here.

The following is a definition of “Res Judicata”, produced by Tetley, in the context of admiralty law: [Translation of Res Judicata in French: “chose jugée”] [Translation of Res Judicata in Spanish: “cosa juzgada”] [Translation of Res Judicata in Italian: “cosa giudicata”] [Translation of Res Judicata in German: “Rechtskräftig entschiedene Sache”] – (“the thing having been adjuged”), referring to the principle that once a court of competentjurisdiction has rendered a final and conclusive decision in a dispute, the same cause of action may not normally be tried again. In the conflict of laws, by virtue of res judicata, a court is estopped from retrying a case which has been the object of a final and conclusive judgment by a competent court or in another jurisdiction. See Tetley, M.C.C., 4 Ed., 2008 at pp. 1964-1965; Tetley, Int’l C. of L., 1994 at pp. 831-832.


See Also

  • Law Dictionaries.
  • jeopardy.

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