Ronald F. v. Department of Developmental Services

One wrongly decided California Court of Appeal opinion is not sufficient grounds for avoiding the res judicata impact of a prior judgment on “change of applicable law” grounds since no other appellate court need follow that errant decision.  A decision of one California Court of Appeal is not a sufficient change of applicable law as…

In re Tomkow

A California state court judgment must be given issue preclusive effect on any issue it decides even if it is affirmed by the state Court of Appeal only on other issues.   Following DiRuzza v. County of Tehama (9th Cir. 2003) 323 F.3d 1147 despite some California Court of Appeal decisions criticizing DiRuzza, this decision holds…

Franceschi v. Franchise Tax Board

Plaintiff’s unsuccessful federal 1983 suit against the Franchise Tax Board for publishing plaintiff’s name as one of the top 500 tax debtors barred later state law suit against the FTB for that same act.  Plaintiff sued the FTB in federal court, alleging a 1983 claim based on the FTB’s publishing his name on its list…

Ruiz v. Snohomish County Public Utility Dist. No. 1

Once it concludes that it lacks jurisdiction, a district court may not rule on the merits of an action; and if it does so anyway, the resulting judgment is not effective for purposes of res judicata.  A district court dismissed plaintiff’s prior federal employment discrimination suit for lack of personal jurisdiction (due to belated service…

Patel v. Crown Diamonds, Inc.

Res judicata did not bar current because since the current defendants who were not parties to the prior suit and were not in privity with those parties, and because the record did not show the reason why the prior suit was dismissed on the pleadings.  The trial court erred in dismissing and sanctioning plaintiff and…