Pickford v. Talbott - 225 U.S. 651 (1912)
U.S. Supreme Court
Pickford v. Talbott, 225 U.S. 651 (1912)
Pickford v. Talbott
Argued April 29, 1912
Decided June 7, 1912
225 U.S. 651
In order to warrant a court of equity in restraining the enforcement of a judgment at law, the defeated party must show that it is manifestly unconscionable for the judgment creditor to enforce it; it is not sufficient for him merely to show that, because of newly discovered facts or evidence, he would have a better prospect of success on a retrial.
It is incumbent on one seeking to have the enforcement of a judgment against him enjoined by a court of equity on the ground of newly discovered evidence to show that his failure to discover the evidence relied upon as defense was not attributable to his own want of diligence.
For the purpose of equity's restraining the enforcement of a judgment at law, a defense is not deemed to be newly discovered, or to have been lost by accident or mistake, if it was, or ought to have been, within the knowledge of the party when he made his defense to the action at law.
A defendant in a libel suit who deliberately abstained from defending by justification of the charges cannot, after verdict and judgment against him, come into equity and seek to restrain the enforcement of the judgment on the ground of newly discovered evidence tending to prove the truth of the charges.
Quaere whether a defendant in a libel suit who made a public charge of malfeasance in office without having evidence of truth sufficient to warrant prudent counsel in making an issue of it, is not barred from relief in equity under the doctrine of clean hands.
36 App.D.C. 289 affirmed.
The facts, which involve an attempt to restrain in an action in equity the enforcement of a judgment obtained on the law side of the court against complainant in an action for libel, are stated in the opinion.