What is the Significance of Res Judicata?
The doctrine of res judicata "prevents the relitigation of a claim or cause of action that has been finally
adjudicated, as well as related matters that, with the use of diligence, should have been litigated in the prior suit."
Barr v. Resolution Trust Corp., 837 S.W.2d 627, 628 (Tex. 1992).
"Res judicata bars a party from attempting to relitigate a claim or cause of action that a competent tribunal has
finally adjudicated." Valverde v. Biela's Glass & Aluminum Prods., 293 S.W.3d 751, 755 (Tex. App.-San Antonio
2009, pet. denied). "For res judicata to apply, the following elements must be present: (1) a prior final judgment
on the merits by a court of competent jurisdiction; (2) the same parties or those in privity with them; and (3) a
second action based on the same claims as were raised or could have been raised in the first action." Id.
RES JUDICATA CASELAW | RECENT TEXAS SUPREME COURT OPINIONS
Hagen v. Hagen, No. 07-1065 (Tex. May 1, 2009)(Johnson)
(family law, divorce decree, postjudgment clarification order, retirement disability benefits division, res judicata,
claim preclusion, collateral attack not permitted, divorce decree not void, relitigation barred)
RAOUL HAGEN v. DORIS J. HAGEN; from Bexar County; 4th district (04-06-00705-CV, ___ SW3d ___, 08-01-
The Court reverses the court of appeals' judgment and affirms the trial court's judgment.
Justice Johnson delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Chief Justice Jefferson, Justice Hecht, Justice
Wainwright, Justice Green, and Justice Willett joined.
Justice Brister delivered a dissenting opinion, in which Justice O'Neill and Justice Medina joined.
Igal v. Brightstar Information Tech Group. Inc., No. 04-0931250 S.W.3d 78 (Tex. May 2, 2008) (Dale
Wainwright) (employment law, Pay Day Act claim, res judicata, claim preclusion based on agency ruling)
SALEH W. IGAL v. BRIGHTSTAR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY GROUP, INC. AND BRBA, INC.; from Dallas
County; 11th district (11-03-00099-CV, 140 S.W.3d 820, 06-30-04)
The Court's opinion of December 7, 2007 is withdrawn and the opinion of this date is substituted. The dissenting
opinion by Justice Brister and the judgment, issued December 7, 2007, remain in place.
CASES FROM THE COURTS OF APPEALS IN WHICH TEXAS SUPREME COURT DENIED
RELIANCE CAPITAL, INC. v. G.R. HMAIDAN, INC., G.R. HMAIDAN AND ISAM HMAIDAN; from Harris County; 14th
district (14‑07‑01059‑CV, ___ SW3d ___, 05‑14‑09, pet denied Nov. 2009) Reliance Capital, Inc. v. G.R.
Hmaidan, Inc (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] May 14, 2009)(Hedges)(promissory note suit, res judicata, UFTA)
BIELA'S GLASS AND ALUMINUM PRODUCTS, INC. AND ALERT LOCK AND KEY v. SONIA VALVERDE; from
Bexar County;4th district (04-08-00587-CV & 04-08-00857-CV, ___ SW3d ___, 06-10-09, pet denied Oct 2009)
(designation of responsible third party, timelines, limitations, res judicata)
In response to Valverde's third amended petition filed on August 7, 2008, Biela's and Alert moved for summary
judgment contending that her claims against them were barred by res judicata. Specifically, they argued that: (1)
the order granting summary judgment signed by the trial court on June 24, 2008 was a final order; (2) the parties
to the first suit were identical to those in the second suit; and (3) the second suit was based on the same claims
that were raised or could have been raised in the first suit. The trial court granted the motion for summary
judgment on October 14, 2008.
Res judicata bars a party from attempting to relitigate a claim or cause of action that a
competent tribunal has finally adjudicated. Ingersoll-Rand Co. v. Valero Energy Corp., 997
S.W.2d 203, 206 (Tex. 1999). For res judicata to apply, the following elements must be
present: (1) a prior final judgment on the merits by a court of competent jurisdiction; (2)
the same parties or those in privity with them; and (3) a second action based on the same
claims as were raised or could have been raised in the first action. Igal v. Brightstar Info.
Tech. Group, Inc., 250 S.W.3d 78, 86 (Tex. 2008).
Because of our holding that the motions for summary judgment in the first suit were erroneously granted, a prior
final judgment on the merits does not exist on which Biela's and Alert can base their res judicata argument.
Accordingly, the appellees cannot establish the first element of res judicata as a matter of law. The October 14,
2008 order granting summary judgment is therefore reversed, and the cause is remanded to the trial court for
JOHNNY RODRIGUEZ, JR. v. ICON BENEFIT ADMINISTRATORS, INC.; from Lubbock County; 7th district (07-07-
00039-CV, ___ SW3d ___, 10-15-08, pet. denied Sep. 2009)(dissenting opinion)(does erroneous dismissal with
prejudice, as opposed to dismissal without prejudice, have res judicata effect?)
DAVID DIAZ MONTEZ v. MARYLINDA RIOS, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS TRUSTEE OF THE KANDO CHILDREN'S
TRUST AND KANDO CHILDREN'S TRUST NO. 2, AND LAURIE PATRICIA MONTEZ, INDIVIDUALLY AS TRUSTEE
OF THE KANDO CHILDREN'S TRUST; from Bexar County; 4th district
(04-07-00089-CV, ___ SW3d ___, 12-12-07, pet. denied April 2008)(probate matter, wills and trusts, res judicata
doctrine, due process)
PETER J. PARENTI v. KINSEY MOBERG; from Bexar County; 4th district
(04-06-00497-CV, ___ SW3d ___, 05-30-07, pet. denied April 2008) as redrafted
(breach of fiduciary duty, res judicata, exemplary damages cap)