Res Judicata – Court of Competent Jurisdiction

Burkes v. Franklin, [Ms. SC-2022-0649, Nov. 18, 2022] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2022). The Court (Wise, J.; Parker, C.J., and Bolin and Stewart, JJ., concur; Sellers, J., concurs in the result) reverses the Jefferson Circuit Court’s dismissal of a quo warranto action filed by Frederick A. Burkes, Sr. against James Franklin. The circuit court concluded that the dismissal of a prior action involving the same parties and subject matter required dismissal of the new action. The Supreme Court disagrees, holding

In Burkes I, this Court held that “Burkes’s failure to give the circuit court security for the costs of [the prior] action deprived the circuit court of subject-matter jurisdiction over the [prior] action.” Therefore, the circuit court’s judgment in the prior action was not rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction. Accordingly, the doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel do not apply to bar the present action.

Ms. *11, internal citation omitted.

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