Friday, December 27, 2013

Britton v. Gannon case brief

Britton v. Gannon case brief summary
285 P.2d 407 (1955)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendant appealed a judgment from the District Court of Pontotoc County (Oklahoma) awarding plaintiff damages under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of U.S.Constitutional art. IV, § 1, based on a foreign judgment rendered in Illinois.

CASE FACTS
The court reversed a judgment awarding plaintiff damages under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of U.S.Constitutional article IV, § 1, based on a foreign judgment rendered in Illinois. The trial court precluded defendant from introducing evidence that the foreign judgment was obtained by extrinsic fraud.

DISCUSSION
  • A state court judgment was not entitled to full faith and credit if it was the result of extrinsic fraud, including, inter alia, false representations that a defendant was only a nominal party, false promises of compromise, and concealment of the suit. 
  • Extrinsic fraud is not admissible to modify or annul a foreign judgment, but is admissible to prevent its enforcement in the collateral court. 
  • The court held that the evidence proffered by defendant was extrinsic evidence. 
  • The court therefore held that the trial court erred in refusing to allow defendant to introduce it, reversed the judgment, and remanded for a new trial.
CONCLUSION
The court reversed and remanded for a new trial, holding that the trial court erred in precluding defendant's evidence of extrinsic fraud in an action to enforce a foreign judgment from another state.


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