Brief Fact Summary. A Filipino national residing in the United States petitioned for naturalization in 1978 under a World War II statute that granted foreigners who served honorably in the United States military during the war the right to apply for and receive citizenship. The act was repealed after the war and only applicants applying for citizenship prior to December 31, 1946, were entitled to naturalization.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Non-mutual offensive collateral estoppel cannot be applied against the government when the party seeking to stop the government from relitigating is a different party than was present in a prior action, or when the subject matter is not the same as was present in the first action.
Issue. Does the doctrine of collateral estoppel apply when used against the government?
Held. The court of appeals was wrong in applying non-mutual collateral estoppel against the government in this matter. However, in other situations, the government can be estopped from relitigating a question when the government is litigating the same issue with the same party.
In Mendoza, the Supreme Court held that Parklane Hosiery's approval of nonmutual offensive collateral estoppel is not to be extended to the United States.View Full Point of Law