Claim Preclusion

Claim preclusion is a doctrine that a final judgment on the merits by a court having jurisdiction is conclusive between the parties to a suit as to all matters that were litigated or that could have been litigated in that suit. The rationale behind the doctrine of claim preclusion is that a party who once has had a chance to litigate a claim before an appropriate tribunal usually ought not to have another chance to do so.  In order to apply the doctrine of claim preclusion a judgment must be final, valid and must be on the merits.  The party must show that a final judgment on the merits of the case had been entered by a court having jurisdiction over the matter.  The parties in the second litigation must be identical in some manner to the parties in the original litigation, or be in privity with the parties in the first action.  The courts analyze preclusion in terms of whether the two causes of action arise from “common nucleus of operative fact.”


Inside Claim Preclusion