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Baldwin v. Iowa State Traveling Men's Ass'n

U.S.
May 18, 1931
283 U.S. 522 (1931)

Summary

holding that judgment in former case overruling motion to dismiss for want of jurisdiction over person of defendant was res judicata of subsequent suit against same defendant

Summary of this case from JONES v. PEEK

Opinion

CERTIORARI TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT.

No. 445.

Argued April 22, 1931. Decided May 18, 1931.

1. The full faith and credit clause, Constitution, Art. IV, § 1, does not apply to the federal courts. P. 524. 2. No right to litigate the same question twice is guaranteed by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Id. 3. When a defendant in a federal court appears specially only for the sole purpose of quashing service for want of jurisdiction over his person, and is fully heard upon the question, and, upon the overruling of the objection, takes no further part in the case and seeks no review, a judgment subsequently entered against him on the merits is res judicata on the question of jurisdiction and is not subject to be collaterally attacked on that same ground when sued on in another State. P. 524 et seq. 40 F.2d 357, reversed.

CERTIORARI, 282 U.S. 827, to review a judgment affirming the dismissal of an action on a judgment.

Mr. Denton Dunn, with whom Messrs. C.W. Prince, James N. Beery, and F.W. Lehmann, Jr., were on the brief, for petitioner.

Mr. J.M. Parsons, with whom Mr. Earl C. Mills was on the brief, for respondent.

A special appearance to quash service will not warrant judgment against the defendant if, in fact, the objections to jurisdiction are good. Big Vein Coal Co. v. Read, 229 U.S. 31; Hitchman Coal C. Co. v. Mitchell, 245 U.S. 229; Toledo Ry. L. Co. v. Hill, 244 U.S. 49; York v. Texas, 137 U.S. 15; Davis v. Cleveland, C., C. St. L.R. Co., 217 U.S. 157; Bank of Jasper v. First Nat. Bank, 258 U.S. 112; Morris v. Skandinavian Ins. Co., 279 U.S. 405.

Jurisdiction to render a judgment may always be questioned in a subsequent action on the judgment in another State. Thompson v. Whitman, 18 Wall. 457; Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U.S. 714; Goldey v. Morning News Co., 156 U.S. 518.

Presumption that a court rendering judgment has jurisdiction does not apply against a foreign corporation. St. Clair v. Cox, 106 U.S. 350.


A writ of certiorari was granted herein to review the affirmance by the Circuit Court of Appeals of a judgment for respondent rendered by the District Court for Southern Iowa. The action was upon the record of a judgment rendered in favor of the petitioner against the respondent in the United States District Court for Western Missouri.

282 U.S. 827.

The defense was lack of jurisdiction of the person of the respondent in the court which entered the judgment. After hearing, in which a jury was waived, this defense was sustained and the action dismissed. The first suit was begun in a Missouri state court and removed to the District Court. Respondent appeared specially and moved to quash and dismiss for want of service. The court quashed the service, but refused to dismiss. An alias summons was issued and returned served, whereupon it again appeared specially, moved to set aside the service, quash the return, and dismiss the case for want of jurisdiction of its person. After a hearing on affidavits and briefs, the motion was overruled, with leave to plead within thirty days. No plea having been filed within that period, the cause proceeded and judgment was entered for the amount claimed. Respondent did not move to set aside the judgment nor sue out a writ of error.

The ground of the motion made in the first suit is the same as that relied on as a defense to this one, namely, that the respondent is an Iowa corporation, that it never was present in Missouri, and that the person served with process in the latter State was not such an agent that service on him constituted a service on the corporation. The petitioner objected to proof of these matters, asserting that the defense constituted a collateral attack and a retrial of an issue settled in the first suit. The overruling of this objection and the resulting judgment for respondent are assigned as error.

The petitioner suggests that Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution forbade the retrial of the question determined on respondent's motion in the Missouri District Court; but the full faith and credit required by that clause is not involved, since neither of the courts concerned was a state court. (Compare Cooper v. Newell, 173 U.S. 555, 567; Supreme Lodge Knights of Pythias v. Meyer, 265 U.S. 30, 33). The respondent, on the other hand, insists that to deprive it of the defense which it made in the court below, of lack of jurisdiction over it by the Missouri District Court, would be to deny the due process guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment; but there is involved in that doctrine no right to litigate the same question twice ( Chicago Life Ins. Co. v. Cherry, 244 U.S. 25; compare York v. Texas, 137 U.S. 15).

The substantial matter for determination is whether the judgment amounts to res judicata on the question of the jurisdiction of the court which rendered it over the person of the respondent. It is of no moment that the appearance was a special one expressly saving any submission to such jurisdiction. That fact would be important upon appeal from the judgment, and would save the question of the propriety of the court's decision on the matter even though after the motion had been overruled the respondent had proceeded, subject to a reserved objection and exception, to a trial on the merits. Harkness v. Hyde, 98 U.S. 476; Goldey v. Morning News, 156 U.S. 518; Toledo Rys. Lt. Co. v. Hill, 244 U.S. 49; Hitchman Coal Coke Co. v. Mitchell, 245 U.S. 229; Morris Co. v. Skandinavia Ins. Co., 279 U.S. 405. The special appearance gives point to the fact that the respondent entered the Missouri court for the very purpose of litigating the question of jurisdiction over its person. It had the election not to appear at all. If, in the absence of appearance, the court had proceeded to judgment and the present suit had been brought thereon, respondent could have raised and tried out the issue in the present action, because it would never have had its day in court with respect to jurisdiction. Thompson v. Whitman, 18 Wall. 457; Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U.S. 714; Hart v. Sansom, 110 U.S. 151; Wetmore v. Karrick, 205 U.S. 141; Bigelow v. Old Dominion Copper Co., 225 U.S. 111; McDonald v. Mabee, 243 U.S. 90. It had also the right to appeal from the decision of the Missouri District Court, as is shown by Harkness v. Hyde, supra, and the other authorities cited. It elected to follow neither of those courses, but, after having been defeated upon full hearing in its contention as to jurisdiction, it took no further steps, and the judgment in question resulted.

Public policy dictates that there be an end of litigation; that those who have contested on issue shall be bound by the result of the contest, and that matters once tried shall be considered forever settled as between the parties. We see no reason why this doctrine should not apply in every case where one voluntarily appears, presents his case and is fully heard, and why he should not, in the absence of fraud, be thereafter concluded by the judgment of the tribunal to which he has submitted his cause.

While this Court has never been called upon to determine the specific question here raised, several federal courts have held the judgment res judicata in like circumstances. Phelps v. Mutual Life Assn., 112 F. 453; affirmed on other grounds, 190 U.S. 147; Moch v. Insurance Co., 10 F. 696; Thomas v. Virden, 160 F. 418; Chinn v. Foster-Milburn Co., 195 F. 158. And we are in accord with this view.

Respondent relies upon National Exchange Bank v. Wiley, 195 U.S. 257, but it is not in point; for there it was shown, not that the defendant in the judgment of the Ohio state court on which suit was brought had appeared and contested jurisdiction, but that an attorney without right or authority had assumed to appear and confess judgment on its behalf.

Bank of Jasper v. First National Bank, 258 U.S. 112, cited by respondent, involved a wholly different question from that here presented. There a suit in equity was brought in a state court against both resident and nonresident defendants. Pursuant to state law constructive service upon the nonresidents was made by publication. One of them, a Georgia bank, appeared specially and moved to quash the service. Its motion was overruled, and on appeal the supreme court of the State affirmed, holding that the purpose of the statute authorizing constructive service by publication was merely to notify nonresidents of the pending suit so that they might, if they cared to do so, come into the case. It held that there was no right to quash the notice, but that the nonresident had its full right to object should the court thereafter commit an error against it. This Court held that the special appearance for the purpose of quashing the notice of service did not amount to a general appearance. Subsequent proceedings in the state court, therefore, were taken without the presence of the bank and were not binding upon it unless the res to be affected was in Florida and subject to the control of the state court. That point was not litigated by the bank — it was not present. This Court held there was not such res subject to the power of the state court, and therefore its judgment was not binding upon those who were not actual parties.

The judgment is reversed and the cause remanded for further proceedings in conformity with this opinion.

Reversed.


Summaries of

Baldwin v. Iowa State Traveling Men's Ass'n

U.S.
May 18, 1931
283 U.S. 522 (1931)

holding that judgment in former case overruling motion to dismiss for want of jurisdiction over person of defendant was res judicata of subsequent suit against same defendant

Summary of this case from JONES v. PEEK

concluding that federal court determinations as to personal jurisdiction are res judicata in subsequent litigation in state court

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ruling on motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is not on merits; res judicata effect limited to question of jurisdiction

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In Baldwin, the Court held that where a litigant had appeared specially in a Missouri federal district court, argued and lost the issue of personal jurisdiction, and thereafter sought to press the same issue before another federal district court in Iowa in an action to enforce the Missouri judgment, res judicata would be applied to preclude relitigation of the personal jurisdiction issue, 283 U.S. at 526, 51 S.Ct. 517.

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In Baldwin v. Iowa State Traveling Men's Association, 283 U.S. 522, 51 S.Ct. 517, 75 L.Ed. 1244 (1931), a federal district court defendant, who had unsuccessfully conditionally appeared and then, like appellant here, failed either to file a defense or to appeal from the default judgment entered on the merits, was sued in another district court for enforcement of the default judgment.

Summary of this case from Somportex Ltd. v. Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corp.

In Baldwin v. Iowa State Traveling Men's Association, 283 U.S. 522, 51 S.Ct. 517, 518, 75 L.Ed. 1244, it was decided that a United States District Court's adjudication of jurisdictions is res judicata of that question in another District Court despite the fact that the defendant appeared specially to question jurisdiction in the proceeding in the District Court first referred to. The only substantial difference between that case and the present suit is that here the plaintiffs sought, rather than contested, the initial determination of the court's power.

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In Baldwin v. Iowa State Traveling Men's Ass'n, 283 U.S. 522, 51 S. Ct. 517, 75 L. Ed. 1244, the precise question here involved was before the Supreme Court.

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In Baldwin, the defendant had made special appearances in a prior action solely for the purpose of contesting personal jurisdiction.

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reaffirming principle that court has power to determine its own personal jurisdiction only when defendant has his day in court

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In Baldwin v. Iowa State Traveling Men's Ass'n, 283 U.S. 522, 51 S.Ct. 517, 75 L.Ed. 1244 (1931), the Supreme Court succinctly stated the general purpose for giving effect to prior judgments.

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In Baldwin, the district court's decision to quash service of process but not to dismiss the action was final, as respondent received a full hearing on the issue of jurisdiction and also had the right to appeal this decision.

Summary of this case from Hoag v. Sweetwater International

stating that due process confers “no right to litigate the same question twice”

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In Baldwin, the respondent, an Iowa corporation, made a special appearance in the District Court for Western Missouri to litigate the question of jurisdiction.

Summary of this case from Estate of Cook v. Cook

In Baldwin v. Iowa State Traveling Men's Association (1931), 283 U.S. 522, 75 L. Ed. 1244, 51 S. Ct. 517, the case relied upon by the court in Brownlee, the respondent appeared specially in the United States District Court for Western Missouri and moved to quash and dismiss the suit for want of service.

Summary of this case from Morey Fish Co. v. Rymer Foods, Inc.

In Baldwin v. Traveling Men's Assn., 283 U.S. 522, 525, 51 S.Ct. 517, 518, 75 L. ed. 1244, 1247, it was held: "Public policy dictates that there be an end of litigation; that those who have contested an issue shall be bound by the result of the contest, and that matters once tried shall be considered forever settled as between the parties.

Summary of this case from Kessler v. Fauquier Nat. Bank

noting respondent had a right to appeal, but did not, resulting in an adverse judgment to which claim preclusion was applied

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In Baldwin, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that "[p]ublic policy dictates that there be an end of litigation; that those who have contested an issue shall be bound by the result of the contest, and that matters once tried shall be considered forever settled as between the parties."

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disallowing a collateral attack by the respondent on a foreign judgment and noting, among other things, that the respondent had waived its right to a direct appeal of the foreign court's adverse ruling on personal jurisdiction

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In Baldwin the respondent in the United States District Court of Western Missouri appeared specially and moved to quash and dismiss for want of service.

Summary of this case from Morey Fish Co. v. Rymer Foods, Inc.

In Baldwin it was held that a federal court in Iowa was required to give binding effect to a judgment of a Missouri federal court, notwithstanding the claim that the original court did not have jurisdiction over the person of the defendant, once it was established in the Iowa court that that question had been fully litigated in Missouri.

Summary of this case from Harris v. Poole

In Baldwin v. Iowa State Traveling Men's Ass'n, 283 U.S. 522, 51 S.Ct. 517, 518, 75 L.Ed. 1244, Justice Roberts, speaking for the United States Supreme Court, among other things, said: "Public policy dictates that there be an end of litigation; that those who have contested an issue shall be bound by the result of the contest; and that matters once tried shall be considered forever settled as between the parties.

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Case details for

Baldwin v. Iowa State Traveling Men's Ass'n

Case Details

Full title:BALDWIN v . IOWA STATE TRAVELING MEN'S ASSOCIATION

Court:U.S.

Date published: May 18, 1931

Citations

283 U.S. 522 (1931)
51 S. Ct. 517

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