Frier v. City of
770 F.2d 699 (7th Cir. 1985)
Yeazell, pp. 799-806
Facts: Frier got some of his cars towed by the city.† Instead of paying the fine, he sued for replevin in state court and lost.† Then he tried to sue in federal court invoking the Fourteenth Amendment.† The district court dismissed the complaint, and Frier appealed to the Seventh Circuit.
Issue: Is Frierís federal claim precluded by the resolution of his state claim?
Rule: One suit precludes a second when the parties are identical and the evidence necessary to sustain a second verdict would sustain the first.
Analysis: The appellate court says that Frier already had a full and fair opportunity to litigate all the important issues.† He could not have filed his present claim in state court because of issue preclusion, and thus he canít file it in federal court either.
The dissent says that claim preclusion doesnít apply here; instead, the city was entitled to summary judgment because Frierís due process claims had no merit.
Swygert claims that the first
suit by Frier was substantive, while this one is procedural.† Under the old version of the preclusion
rules, unlike under the Restatement of Judgments, only the specific thing that
was previously litigated is precluded from further litigation.† Swygert says that
Then Swygert says that Frier received enough due process anyway, so he would come to the same conclusion as Easterbrook and the majority.
Conclusion: The district courtís dismissal is affirmed.
Notes and Problems
a. The majority doesnít reject his constitutional claim, they just say he should have brought it up before.
b. I donít think that claim has ever been litigated.
c. It may not be totally fair, but it is efficient to such a degree that it outweighs the equity aspect.
looks like it might be an
b. Why is this common law when everything else is a rule?† Why not just write down the prevailing common law rule and thus codify the existing right?