Document Type

Response or Comment

Publication Date

1918

Abstract

The judgment of a sister state, when assailed by collateral attack, is often said to occupy a position intermediate between foreign and domestic judgments. Though the older American cases were inclined to examine into the merits of any foreign judgment, the present tendency is toward the adoption of the English view according to which a foreign judgment may be attacked collaterally only for want of jurisdiction or fraud. Dicey, Conflict of Laws (ed. 2) Ch. XVII; see note to Tremblay v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., 97 Me. 547, in 94 Am. St. Rep. 521, 538. But whereas any statement of jurisdictional facts in a foreign judgment is presumptive only, a domestic judgment is free from collateral attack on the ground of jurisdiction, except where lack of jurisdiction appears upon the face of the record. I BLACK, JUDGMENTS (ed. 2), § 274. The courts of New York have declined to accord this favoured position to domestic judgments and apparently make no distinction between domestic judgments and those of a sister state in this matter. Ferguson v. Crawford, 70 N. Y. 253, 26 Am. Rep. 589. In view of the so-called 'full faith and credit clause' of the constitution (Art. IV, §1), it is difficult to see why the judgment of a sister state should be open to any form of collateral attack to which it is not open in the state where the judgment is rendered. This would seem to follow from the familiar statement of Chief Justice Marshall in Hampton v. McConnel, 3 Wheat. 234 (affirming the doctrine of Mills v. Duryee, 7 Cranch 481), which in the opinion of Justice Holmes is still a correct exposition of the law. Fauntleroy v. Lum, 210 U. S. 230, 236-7.