1. A judgment of the highest court of a State determining a
claim of right under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the
Federal Constitution is reviewable here not by appeal but by
certiorari; and the papers whereon an appeal has been improvidently
taken in such a case may be treated as a petition for a writ of
certiorari. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1257(3), 2103. Pp. 337 U. S.
2. Where the last day of the period within which a review by
this Court on appeal or certiorari may be applied for falls on a
Sunday or legal holiday, an application made on the next day which
is not a Sunday or legal holiday is timely under 28 U.S.C. §
2101(c) and Rule 6 (a) of the Rules of Civil Procedure. Pp.
337 U. S.
3. In 1927, petitioner obtained a Colorado judgment against
respondent, which was revived in Colorado in 1945 on personal
service upon respondent in Missouri. Suit was then brought in
Missouri on the revived Colorado judgment. The Supreme Court of
Missouri, though assuming that the judgment was valid in Colorado,
refused to enforce it because, under Missouri law, the original
judgment could not have been revived in 1945.
the decision of the Missouri Court that, whatever
the effect of revivor under Colorado law, the Colorado judgment was
not entitled to full faith and credit in Missouri, is erroneous.
Roche v. McDonald, 275 U. S. 449
337 U. S.
4. The question of the status of the 1945 judgment under
Colorado law, and the question whether the service on which the
Colorado judgment was revived satisfied due process, which were not
passed upon by the Missouri Court, will be open on remand of the
cause. P. 337 U. S.
358 Mo. 65, 213 S.W.2d 416, reversed.
The Supreme Court of Missouri refused enforcement of a Colorado
judgment. 358 Mo. 65, 213 S.W.2d 416. Treating the appeal papers as
a petition for certiorari, this Court grants certiorari and
reverses the judgment. Pp.
337 U. S. 40
-41, 337 U. S.
Page 337 U. S. 39
MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS delivered the opinion of the Court.
Missouri has a statute which limits the life of a judgment to
ten years after its original rendition or ten years after its
revival. [Footnote 1
also provides that no judgment can be revived after ten years from
its rendition. [Footnote 2
These provisions are applicable to all judgments, whether rendered
by a Missouri court or by any other court.
Petitioner has a Colorado judgment against respondent. It was
obtained in 1927 and revived in Colorado [Footnote 3
] in 1945 in personal service upon respondent
in Missouri. Suit was then brought in Missouri on the revived
Colorado judgment. The Supreme Court of Missouri, though assuming
that the judgment was valid in Colorado, refused to enforce it
because the original judgment under Missouri's law could not have
been revived in 1945. It held that the lex fori
the limitations of actions, and that the Full Faith and Credit
Clause of the Constitution, Art. IV, § I, did not require Missouri
to recognize Colorado's more lenient policy as respects revival of
judgments. 358 Mo. 65, 213 S.W.2d 416.
1. Petitioner sought to bring the case here by appeal. But we
postponed the question of jurisdiction to the merits. Certiorari,
not appeal, is the route by which the question whether or not full
faith and credit has been given a foreign judgment is brought here.
Roche v. McDonald, 275 U. S. 449
Morris v. Jones, 329 U. S. 545
Page 337 U. S. 40
Hence we treat the papers as a petition for certiorari, 28
U.S.C. § 2103, and grant it.
2. The opinion of the Supreme Court of Missouri was handed down
July 12, 1948, and the motion for rehearing or for transfer to the
court en banc [Footnote 4
denied September 13, 1948. The appeal was allowed by the Missouri
court on December 13, 1948. That was within three months, and
therefore timely prior to the revision of the Judicial Code. But 28
U.S.C. § 2101(c), effective September 1, 1948, reduced that period
to ninety days. The ninetieth day was December 12, 1948, which was
a Sunday. There is a contrariety of views whether an act which by
statute is required to be done within a stated period may be done a
day later when the last day of the period falls on Sunday.
] Thus, Street
v. United States, 133 U. S. 299
treating Sunday as a dies non
under a statute which
authorized the President to transfer army officers from active duty
and to fill vacancies in the active list on or before January 1,
1871, allowed the action to be taken on the following day. We think
the policy of that decision is applicable to 28 U.S.C. § 2101(c).
Rule 6(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that
where the last day for performance of an act falls on a Sunday or a
legal holiday, performance on the next day which is not a Sunday or
legal holiday is timely. [Footnote
Page 337 U. S. 41
rule provides the method for computation of time prescribed or
allowed not only by the rules or by order of court, but by "any
applicable statute." Since the rule had the concurrence of
Congress, [Footnote 7
since no contrary policy is expressed in the statute governing this
review, we think that the considerations of liberality and leniency
which find expression in Rule 6(a) are equally applicable to 28
U.S.C. § 2101(c). The appeal therefore did not fail for lack of
3. Roche v. McDonald
is dispositive of the merits.
Roche had a Washington judgment against McDonald. He brought suit
on that judgment in Oregon. He obtained a judgment in Oregon at a
time when the original judgment had, by Washington law, expired and
could not be revived. Roche then sued in Washington on the Oregon
judgment. The Court reversed the Supreme Court of Washington, 136
Wash. 322, 239 P. 1015, which had held that full faith and credit
need not be given the Oregon judgment, since it would have been
void and of no effect if rendered in Washington. The Court held
that, once the court of the sister State had jurisdiction over the
parties and of the subject matter, its judgment was valid, and
could not be impeached in the state of the forum, even though it
could not have been obtained there. That decision was in line with
Fauntleroy v. Lum, 210 U. S. 230
5 Wall. 290. For, in those cases, the
Page 337 U. S. 42
had held that the State of the forum could not defeat the
foreign judgment because it was obtained by a procedure hostile to
or inconsistent with that of the forum or because it was based on a
cause of action which the forum itself would not have
Any other result would defeat the aim of the Full Faith and
Credit Clause and the statute enacted pursuant to it. [Footnote 8
] It is when a clash of
policies between two states emerges that the need of the Clause is
the greatest. It and the statute which implements it are indeed
designed to resolve such controversies. Morris v. Jones,
There is no room for an exception, as Roche v.
makes plain, where the clash of policies relates to
revived judgments rather than to the nature of the underlying claim
as in Fauntleroy v. Lum, supra.
It is the judgment that
must be given full faith and credit. In neither case can its
integrity be impaired, save for attacks on the jurisdiction of the
court that rendered it.
Cases of statute of limitations against a cause of action on a
judgment (M'Elmoyle v.
13 Pet. 312), involve
Page 337 U. S. 43
different considerations as Christmas v. Russell,
p. 72 U. S. 300
long ago pointed out. They do not undermine the integrity of the
judgment on which suit is brought. In this case, it is the 1945
Colorado judgment that claims full faith and credit in Missouri. No
Missouri statute of limitations is tendered to cut off a cause of
action based on judgment of that vintage.
It is argued, however, that, under Colorado law, the 1945
Colorado judgment is not a new judgment, and that the revivor did
no more than to extend the statutory period in which to enforce the
old judgment. [Footnote 9
is said that those were the assumptions on which the Missouri court
proceeded. But we would have to add to and subtract from its
opinion to give it that meaning. For when it placed revived
judgments on the same basis as original judgments, it did so
because of Missouri, not Colorado, law. [Footnote 10
This is not a situation where Colorado law also makes that
conclusion plain. The Colorado authorities which
Page 337 U. S. 44
have been cited to us indeed seem to hold just the opposite.
Thus, La Fitte v. Salisbury,
43 Colo. 248, 95 P. 1065,
holds that a revived judgment has the effect of a new one.
] We are
referred to no Colorado authorities to the contrary.
But, since the status of the 1945 judgment under Colorado law
was not passed upon by the Missouri court, we do not determine the
question. For the same reason, we do not consider whether the
service on which the Colorado judgment was revived satisfied due
process. See Owens v. Henry, 161 U.
. Both of those questions will be open on remand
of the cause.
The suggestion that we follow the course taken in Minnesota
v. National Tea Co., 309 U. S. 551
vacate the judgment and remand the cause to the Missouri court so
that it may first pass on these questions would be appropriate only
if it were uncertain whether that court adjudicated a federal
question. That course is singularly inappropriate here, since it is
plain that the Missouri court held that, whatever the effect of
revivor under Colorado law, the Colorado judgment was not entitled
to full faith
Page 337 U. S. 45
and credit in Missouri. That holding is a ruling on a federal
question, and it cannot stand if, as assumed, the Colorado judgment
had the force and effect of a new one.
MR. JUSTICE BLACK and MR. JUSTICE RUTLEDGE dissent.
Mo.Rev.Stat.1939, § 1038.
Mo.Rev.Stat.1939, § 1271.
1 Colo.Ann.Stat.1935, c. 6, Rule 54(h); 3 id.,
c. 93, §
See Gorman v. Washington University, 316 U. S.
Pro: Street v. United States, 133 U.
; Sherwood Bros. v. District of Columbia,
72 App.D.C. 155, 113 F.2d 162; Wilson v. Southern R. Co.,
147 F.2d 165. Contra: Johnson v. Meyers,
54 F. 417;
Meyer v. Hot Springs Imp. Co.,
169 F. 628;
Siegelschiffer v. Penn Mut. Life Ins. Co.,
248 F. 226;
Larkin Packer Co. v. Hinderliter Tool Co.,
60 F.2d 491;
Walters v. Baltimore & O. R. Co.,
76 F.2d 599.
Rule 6(a) provides:
"In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these
rules, by order of court, or by any applicable statute, the day of
the act, event, or default after which the designated period of
time begins to run is not to be included. The last day of the
period so computed is to be included, unless it is a Sunday or a
legal holiday, in which event the period runs until the end of the
next day which is neither a Sunday nor a holiday. When the period
of time prescribed or allowed is less than 7 days, intermediate
Sundays and holidays shall be excluded in the computation. A half
holiday shall be considered as other days, and not as a
Act of June 19, 1934, 48 Stat. 1064, 28 U.S.C. §
723c, now § 2072; Rule 86, Rules of Civil Procedure; Sibbach v.
Wilson & Co., 312 U. S. 1
Article IV, § I of the Constitution provides:
"Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the
public Acts, Records, and Judicial Proceedings of every other
State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in
which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the
The Act of Congress enacted pursuant to the Clause, 28 U.S.C. §
1738, in part reads as follows:
"The records and judicial proceedings of any court of any such
State, Territory, or Possession, or copies thereof, shall be proved
or admitted in other courts within the United States and its
Territories and Possessions by the attestation of the clerk and
seal of the court annexed, if a seal exists, together with a
certificate of a judge of the court that the said attestation is in
"Such Acts, records and judicial proceedings or copies thereof,
so authenticated, shall have the same full faith and credit in
every court within the United States and its Territories and
Possessions as they have by law or usage in the courts of such
State, Territory, or Possession from which they are taken."
There is no concession that under Colorado law revival does not
make a new judgment. Petitioner merely argues that the requirements
of due process are less exacting in case of a revived, as
distinguished from an original, judgment.
The Missouri court stated, 358 Mo., p. 70, 213 S.W.2d p. page
"Definitely, it is the law of this state that a foreign
judgment, absent revival, or a payment thereon as provided in Sec.
1038, is barred in 10 years from the date of its original rendition
regardless of what the limitation period may be under the law of
the state where the judgment was rendered. Northwestern Brewers
Supply Co. v. Vorhees, supra
[356 Mo. 699, 203 S.W.2d 422].
And the only reasonable conclusion to draw is that a revived
judgment, domestic or foreign, absent a payment as provided in Sec.
1038, is barred under said section unless the revival was within 10
years from the date of original rendition or, if such is the case,
within 10 years from the last revival. In other words, a foreign
judgment, original or revived, has the same standing in Missouri,
no better, no worse, than a domestic judgment. This does not run
counter to the full faith and credit provision of the federal
Constitution, because, as we have seen, the enforcement of a
foreign judgment goes to the remedy only, and that is a matter for
the law of the forum."
Northwestern Brewers Supply Co. v. Vorhees,
court cites, did not involve a revived judgment. It merely held
that a Wisconsin judgment sued on in Missouri was subject to
Missouri's statute of limitations. The fact that the Missouri court
in the present case held that the revived Colorado judgment was
governed by that rule throws no light on the status of the revived
judgment under Colorado law.
1 Colo.Ann.Stat.1935, c. 6, Rule 54(h) provides in part:
"A revived judgment must be entered within 20 years after the
entry of the judgment which it revives, and may be enforced and
made a lien in the same manner and for a like period as an original
MR. JUSTICE FRANKFURTER, dissenting.
The Court finds that Roche v. McDonald, 275 U.
, is "dispositive of the merits" of this case. I
agree that that case demands the remand of this one; more than that
can be found only by misconceiving what this case is about or what
Roche v. McDonald
1. Article IV, § 1 of the Constitution commands the courts of
each State to give "Full Faith and Credit . . . to the . . .
Judicial Proceedings of every other State," and we have interpreted
this command so straitly as to mean that the State of the forum
cannot go behind the judgment of a sister State to establish such
an allegation as that the judgment was procured by fraud,
5 Wall. 290, or that the judgment creditor
was not the real party in interest, Titus v. Wallick,
306 U. S. 282
have even required a State which prohibited the enforcement of
gambling contracts to give full faith and credit to another State's
judgment upon such a contract when the contract itself was entered
in the State which regarded it as illegal. Fauntleroy v.
Lum, 210 U. S. 230
See also Kenney v. Supreme Lodge, 252 U.
; Morris v. Jones, 329 U.
2. Considerations of policy lying behind the Full Faith and
Credit Clause, however, are by no means so forcibly presented where
the issue is simply whether the forum must respect the limitation
period attached to a foreign judgment or whether it may apply its
own. This Court has accordingly held that a State may refuse to
Page 337 U. S. 46
the judgment of another State brought later than its own statute
of limitations permits even though the judgment would still have
been enforceable in the State which rendered it. M'Elmoyle
13 Pet. 312; Bacon v.
20 How. 22.
3. Conversely, where the enforcement of a judgment by State A is
sought in State B, which has a longer limitation period than State
A, State B is plainly free to enter its own judgment upon the basis
of State A's original judgment, even though that judgment would no
longer be enforceable in State A. If enforcement of State B's new
judgment is then sought in State A, State A cannot refuse to
enforce it without violating the principle that the State where
enforcement of a judgment is sought cannot look behind the
judgment. That was the situation in Roche v. McDonald,
275 U. S. 449
so we there held.
4. The present situation is this: Colorado entered a judgment in
1927 which, in 1945, was there revived in accordance with
Colorado's procedure. In 1945, the 1927 judgment could not have
been enforced in Missouri because barred by that State's statute of
limitations. The question whether the 1945 proceedings gave rise to
a judgment enforceable in Missouri thus depends, obviously, on
whether those proceedings created a new Colorado judgment, or
whether they merely had the effect of extending the Colorado
statute of limitations on the old judgment. Only in the former case
would Roche v. McDonald
be "dispositive of the merits"; in
the latter, it is equally clear that M'Elmoyle v. Cohen,
supra, 38 U. S. 312
Bacon v. Howard,
20 How. 22, would be controlling.
Fundamental, therefore, to the issue of full faith and credit is an
initial determination as to the effect in Colorado of its reviver
5. The opinion of the Supreme Court of Missouri is not
unequivocal. It could hardly, however, have assumed
Page 337 U. S. 47
the law of Colorado to be that reviver proceedings create a new
judgment, for it chiefly relied upon a decision of its own
according full recognition to Roche v. McDonald
cases invoking the principle that the forum cannot look behind a
judgment brought there for enforcement. See Northwestern
Brewers Supply Co. v. Vorhees,
356 Mo. 699, 703, 203 S.W.2d
422, 424. Surely we ought not to attribute to a State court a
flagrant disregard of the decisions of this Court, particularly
when it shows awareness of these decisions. [Footnote 2/1
] The more obvious interpretation of the
Missouri court's opinion is that it assumed the effect of the
Colorado proceedings to be what the face of the Colorado statute
implies -- namely, to extend the statute of limitations on the
original judgment. [Footnote 2/2
We should affirm, therefore, but for language which suggests a
third view: that, because the original judgment would have been
unenforceable in Missouri at the time of the reviver proceedings,
those proceedings were not entitled to full faith and credit no
matter what their effect under Colorado law. If, in fact, the
Colorado proceedings had resulted in a new judgment, this view
would have disregarded Roche v. McDonald.
But a State
court may reach the right result despite an awkward formulation of
the issue before it. Petitioner, to be entitled to redress, must
establish that Colorado gave it a judgment which Missouri flouted,
and it fails
Page 337 U. S. 48
to do so unless it shows that, under Colorado law, a judgment of
reviver is a new judgment.
6. The Court does not find that petitioner has sustained this
burden, and we should neither initiate an independent examination
of Colorado law nor rest upon phrases in a single decision that
does not explicitly adjudicate the question. Yet the Court
"In this case, it is the 1945 Colorado judgment that claims full
faith and credit in Missouri. No Missouri statute of limitations is
tendered to cut off a cause of action based on judgments of that
But the very question of Colorado law in issue is whether the
1945 proceedings did, in fact, create a new judgment entitled to
claim full faith and credit. Since, in the view most favorable to
petitioner, it is not clear whether the courts of Missouri have
resolved this issue against petitioner or left it undecided, we
should not by affirming foreclose all opportunity for petitioner to
establish that the true effect of the reviver proceedings was to
grant it a new judgment. But neither should we foreclose the issue
in petitioner's favor.
In view of the unresolved elements of the situation, the
procedure outlined in Minnesota v. National Tea Co.,
309 U. S. 551
309 U. S. 557
should be followed in disposing of this case. Accordingly, I would
vacate the judgment of the Supreme Court of Missouri and remand the
case for further proceedings.
The improbability that this was the view of the Missouri courts
is emphasized by the fact that such a view would inevitably inject
into the case an issue which in fact they put aside as irrelevant:
the effectiveness of personal service upon defendant in Missouri to
obtain jurisdiction in Colorado to supplant the old judgment by a
new one. See Owens v. Henry, 161 U.
". . . from and after twenty years from the entry of final
judgment in any court of this state, the same shall be considered
as satisfied in full, unless revived as provided by law."
3 Colo.Stat.Ann.1935, c. 93, § 2.