Sturdy v. Jackaway
71 U.S. 174 (1866)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Sturdy v. Jackaway, 71 U.S. 4 Wall. 174 174 (1866)

Sturdy v. Jackaway

71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 174

Syllabus

A final judgment pronounced in an action of ejectment, where the claim of title in fee simple absolute by the parties respectively was the sole subject of controversy, instituted and prosecuted under and according to the forms and in the manner prescribed by the statute laws of the State of Arkansas -- that is to say by a suit between the real litigants by name and where the land is accurately described -- is a valid legal bar to a like action subsequently instituted between the same parties for the same lands or premises, involving the same identical title and rights to the possession of such lands or premises and none other.

Semble. The doctrine is applicable generally in ejectments, in the form above described, in those states where no provision is made by statute for a subsequent trial.

Sturdy brought ejectment against Jackaway in one of the state courts of Arkansas to recover a tract of land in that state, the action being brought not in the English fictitious form used still in some states of the Union, but in the way now more common with us -- and which prevails in Arkansas -- where the parties sue, as in other cases, in their true names and where the land claimed is described so as to be capable of complete identification. Judgment was given for the defendant, and the case having gone to the Supreme Court of Arkansas, the judgment was there affirmed. He then brought another ejectment for the same premises in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and the defendant having pleaded the former judgment the plaintiff demurred. The judges of the

Page 71 U. S. 175

circuit court being opposed in opinion as to the sufficiency of the demurrer, the following questions were certified to the court:

1st. Is said plea good in law as a bar to this action?

2d. Is a final judgment pronounced in an action of ejectment, where the claim of title in fee simple absolute by the parties respectively was the sole subject of controversy, instituted and prosecuted under and according to the forms and in the manner prescribed by the statute laws of the State of Arkansas, a valid, legal bar to a like action, subsequently instituted between the same parties, for the same lands or premises, involving the same identical title and rights to the possession of such lands or premises, and none other?

There was nothing shown by the record or otherwise to indicate that the statute law of Arkansas made a distinction between ejectment and other actions as to the conclusiveness of a verdict and judgment.

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