Adam v. Saenger
303 U.S. 59 (1938)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Adam v. Saenger, 303 U.S. 59 (1938)

Adam v. Saenger

No.197

Argued January 6, 1938

Decided January 31, 1938

303 U.S. 59

Syllabus

1. Matter of fact or of law upon which the jurisdiction of a state court to render a judgment depended, but which was not litigated in that court, is matter for adjudication by the court of another State in an action on the judgment. P. 303 U. S. 62.

2. Upon an appeal from the judgment of a state court in a suit upon a judgment of another State, this Court takes judicial notice of the law of the latter State to the same extent as such notice is taken by the court appealed from. P. 303 U. S. 63.

3. According to Texas law, the legal effect of a judgment of another State on which suit is brought is to be determined by the court, not the jury. But a suitor who asserts that the effect is different from that of a similar judgment of the courts of Texas is required to allege specifically and prove as a matter of fact the particular law or usage on which he relies to establish the difference, and, on demurrer, only the law or usage specifically alleged will be considered in determining whether the law of the other State differs from that of Texas. P. 303 U. S. 63.

4. A, being sued by B, a resident of Texas, in a court of general jurisdiction in California, brought a cross-action in the same court against B with leave of court and by service in California of a cross-complaint upon B's attorney of record in the original action. A obtained judgment against B by default, and sued upon it in Texas, pleading relevant California statutes and citations of decisions of California courts. The question, raised by general demurrer to A's complaint, was the legal effect in California of the service in the cross-action, and hence of the judgment founded upon it.

Held:

That this question, whether regarded as of fact or of law, is a federal question arising under the Full Faith and Credit Clause and R.S. § 905, 28 U.S.C. 687, and its decision by the Texas court is reviewable here. P. 303 U. S. 64.

5. Under §§ 442, 1015 and 1011 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, and decisions of the California courts, as pleaded in this case, valid service of a cross-complaint may be made upon the attorney of the plaintiff in the original action. P. 303 U. S. 65.

Page 303 U. S. 60

The cross-complaint was for conversion of chattels, filed, with the permission of the court, in an action for goods sold and delivered.

6. There is nothing in the Fourteenth Amendment to prevent a State from adopting a procedure by which a judgment in personam may be rendered in a cross-action against a plaintiff in its courts, upon service of process or of appropriate pleading upon his attorney of record. P. 303 U. S. 67.

101 S.W.2d 1046, reversed.

Certiorari, 302 U.S. 668, to review the affirmance of a judgment dismissing a suit brought in Texas by the assignee of a judgment recovered, on cross-complaint, in California against a Texas corporation. The Texas suit was against the directors of the corporation, as trustees in dissolution, and against the stockholders, as transferees of corporate assets. The Supreme Court of Texas having refused a writ of error for want of jurisdiction, the writ of this Court ran to the Court of Civil Appeals.

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