Brief Fact Summary. The Plaintiff, Cromwell (Plaintiff) attempted to collect on bonds that had matured and brought suit against the Defendant, the County of Sac (Defendant). The trial court found that the Plaintiff was precluded from bringing a certain issue because of a similar issue raised in the Plaintiff’s attempt to collect on the bonds in an earlier action brought on his behalf.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Where a second action between the same parties is based upon a different claim or demand, the judgment in the prior action operates as an estoppel only as to those matters in issue upon which the verdict or judgment was rendered.
Only upon such matters is the judgment conclusive in another action.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Whether the Plaintiff was estopped from bringing his claim on the bonds and coupons.
Held. No. The Plaintiff should have been allowed to show that he was a bona fide purchaser for value of the bonds before the date of maturity. The exclusion of the evidence offered by the Plaintiff was erroneous. Judgment reversed and remanded for a new trial.
Discussion. There was nothing adjudged in the former action that Smith (Plaintiff in the prior case) had not proved, that could justify the Plaintiff being precluded from proving in this case. The fact that one party may not have shown he gave value for one bond is not presumptive or conclusive evidence that he may not have given value for another or different bond.