1. The full faith and credit clause, Constitution, Art. IV, § 1,
doe not apply to the federal courts. P. 283 U. S.
2. No right to litigate the same question twice is guaranteed by
the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
3. When a defendant in a federal court appear specially only for
the sole purpose of quashing service for want of jurisdiction over
his person, and is fully heard upon the question, and, upon the
overruling of the objection, takes no further part in the case and
seeks no review, a judgment subsequently entered against him on the
merits is res judicata
on the question of jurisdiction,
and is not subject to be collaterally attacked on that same ground
when sued on in another state. P. 283 U. S. 524
40 F.2d 357 reversed.
Certiorari, 282 U. S. 827
review a judgment affirming the dismissal of an action on a
Page 283 U. S. 523
MR. JUSTICE ROBERTS delivered the opinion of the Court.
A writ of certiorari was granted herein [Footnote 1
] to review the affirmance by the circuit
court of appeals [Footnote 2
of a judgment for respondent rendered by the District Court for
Southern Iowa. The action was upon the record of a judgment
rendered in favor of the petitioner against the respondent in the
United States District Court for Western Missouri.
The defense was lack of jurisdiction of the person of the
respondent in the court which entered the judgment. After hearing,
in which a jury was waived, this defense was sustained, and the
action dismissed. The first suit was begun in a Missouri state
court and removed to the district court. Respondent appeared
specially and moved to quash and dismiss for want of service. The
court quashed the service, but refused to dismiss. An alias summons
was issued and returned served, whereupon it again appeared
specially, moved to set aside the service, quash the return, and
dismiss the case for want of jurisdiction of its person. After a
hearing on affidavits and
Page 283 U. S. 524
briefs, the motion was overruled, with leave to plead within
thirty days. No plea having been filed within that period, the
cause proceeded, and judgment was entered for the amount claimed.
Respondent did not move to set aside the judgment, nor sue out a
writ of error.
The ground of the motion made in the first suit is the same as
that relied on as a defense to this one -- namely, that the
respondent is an Iowa corporation, that it never was present in
Missouri, and that the person served with process in the latter
state was not such an agent that service on him constituted a
service on the corporation. The petitioner objected to proof of
these matters, asserting that the defense constituted a collateral
attack and a retrial of an issue settled in the first suit. The
overruling of this objection and the resulting judgment for
respondent are assigned as error.
The petitioner suggests that Article IV, § 1, of the
Constitution forbade the retrial of the question determined on
respondent's motion in the Missouri district court, but the full
faith and credit required by that clause is not involved, since
neither of the courts concerned was a state court. Compare
Cooper v. Newell, 173 U. S. 555
173 U. S. 567
Supreme Lodge, Knights of Pythias v. Meyer, 265 U. S.
, 265 U. S. 33
The respondent, on the other hand, insists that to deprive it of
the defense which it made in the court below, of lack of
jurisdiction over it by the Missouri district court, would be to
deny the due process guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment; but
there is involved in that doctrine no right to litigate the same
question twice. Chicago Life Ins. Co. v. Cherry,
244 U. S. 25
compare York v. Texas, 137 U. S. 15
The substantial matter for determination is whether the judgment
amounts to res judicata
on the question of the
jurisdiction of the court which rendered it over the person of the
respondent. It is of no moment that the
Page 283 U. S. 525
appearance was a special one expressly saving any submission to
such jurisdiction. That fact would be important upon appeal from
the judgment, and would save the question of the propriety of the
court's decision on the matter, even though, after the motion had
been overruled, the respondent had proceeded, subject to a reserved
objection and exception, to a trial on the merits. Harkness v.
Hyde, 98 U. S. 476
Goldey v. Morning News, 156 U. S. 518
Toledo Rys. & Lt. Co. v. Hill, 244 U. S.
; Hitchman Coal & Coke Co. v. Mitchell,
245 U. S. 229
Morris & Co. v. Skandinavia Ins. Co., 279 U.
. The special appearance gives point to the fact
that the respondent entered the Missouri court for the very purpose
of litigating the question of jurisdiction over its person. It had
the election not to appear at all. If, in the absence of
appearance, the court had proceeded to judgment, and the present
suit had been brought thereon, respondent could have raised and
tried out the issue in the present action, because it would never
have had its day in court with respect to jurisdiction.
18 Wall. 457; Pennoyer v. Neff,
95 U. S. 714
Hart v. Sansom, 110 U. S. 151
Wetmore v. Karrick, 205 U. S. 141
Bigelow v. Old Dominion Copper Co., 225 U.
; McDonald v. Mabee, 243 U. S.
. It had also the right to appeal from the decision of
the Missouri district court, as is shown by Harkness v. Hyde,
and the other authorities cited. It elected to follow
neither of those courses, but, after having been defeated upon full
hearing in its contention as to jurisdiction, it took no further
steps, and the judgment in question resulted.
Public policy dictates that there be an end of litigation; that
those who have contested an issue shall be bound by the result of
the contest, and that matters once tried shall be considered
forever settled as between the parties. We see no reason why this
doctrine should not apply in every
Page 283 U. S. 526
case where one voluntarily appears, presents his case, and is
fully heard, and why he should not, in the absence of fraud, be
thereafter concluded by the judgment of the tribunal to which he
has submitted his cause.
While this Court has never been called upon to determine the
specific question here raised, several federal courts have held the
judgment res judicata
in like circumstances. Phelps v.
Mutual Reserve Fund Life Assn.,
112 F. 453, aff'd on other
grounds, 190 U. S. 190
147; Moch v. Insurance Co.,
10 F. 696; Thomas v.
160 F. 418; Chinn v. Foster-Milburn Co.,
F. 158. And we are in accord with this view.
Respondent relies upon National Exchange Bank v. Wiley,
195 U. S. 257
it is not in point, for there it was shown not that the defendant
in the judgment of the Ohio state court on which suit was brought
had appeared and contested jurisdiction, but that an attorney,
without right or authority, had assumed to appear and confess
judgment on its behalf.
Bank of Jasper v. First National Bank, 258 U.
, cited by respondent, involved a wholly different
question from that here presented. There, a suit in equity was
brought in a state court against both resident and nonresident
defendants. Pursuant to state law, constructive service upon the
nonresidents was made by publication. One of them, a Georgia bank,
appeared specially and moved to quash the service. Its motion was
overruled, and, on appeal, the supreme court of the state affirmed,
holding that the purpose of the statute authorizing constructive
service by publication was merely to notify nonresidents of the
pending suit so that they might, if they cared to do so, come into
the case. It held that there was no right to quash the notice, but
that the nonresident had its full right to object should the court
thereafter commit an error against it. This Court held that the
special appearance for the purpose of quashing the notice
Page 283 U. S. 527
of service did not amount to a general appearance. Subsequent
proceedings in the state court therefore were taken without the
presence of the bank, and were not binding upon it unless the
to be affected was in Florida and subject to the
control of the state court. That point was not litigated by the
bank -- it was not present. This Court held there was not such
subject to the power of the state court, and therefore
its judgment was not binding upon those who were not actual
The judgment is reversed, and the cause remanded for further
proceedings in conformity with this opinion.
282 U. S. 827
40 F.2d 357.