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FINDLAW LEGAL DICTIONARY

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Res Judicata

res judicata n

[Latin, judged matter]
1 : a thing, matter, or determination that is adjudged or final: as
a : a claim, issue, or cause of action that is settled by a judgment conclusive as to the rights, questions, and facts involved in the dispute
b : a judgment, decree, award, or other determination that is considered final and bars relitigation of the same matter [the trial court interpreted the earlier order as a dismissal with prejudice and thus res judicata as to the subsequent complaint "Southeast Mortg. Co. v. Sinclair , 632 So. 2d 677 (1994)"]
;also
: the barring effect of such a determination
2 : a principle or doctrine that generally bars relitigation or reconsideration of matters determined in adjudication [the doctrine of res judicata precludes the presentation of issues in a post-conviction petition which have previously been decided upon direct appeal "Stowers v. State , 657 N.E.2d 194 (1995)"]: as
a : a broad doctrine in civil litigation that requires and includes the barring of relitigation of settled matters under merger, bar, collateral estoppel, and direct estoppel
: former adjudication compare bar estoppel by judgment at estoppel , merger
b : a specific doctrine that precludes relitigation of claims and issues arising from the same cause of action between the same parties and their privies after a final judgment on the merits by a competent tribunal or after some other final determination having the same effect [res judicata precludes only subsequent suits on the same cause of action; collateral estoppel may preclude relitigation of issues in later suits on any cause of action "J. H. Friedenthal et al. "] called also claim preclusion
3 : an affirmative defense based on res judicata



Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.