244 U.S. 25 (1917), 171, Chicago Life Insurance Company v. Cherry

Docket Nº:No. 171
Citation:244 U.S. 25, 37 S.Ct. 492, 61 L.Ed. 966
Party Name:Chicago Life Insurance Company v. Cherry
Case Date:May 07, 1917
Court:United States Supreme Court

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244 U.S. 25 (1917)

37 S.Ct. 492, 61 L.Ed. 966

Chicago Life Insurance Company



No. 171

United States Supreme Court

May 7, 1917

Argued April 18, 1917




In an action on a sister state judgment, a state court may inquire whether there was personal jurisdiction in the prior proceedings, notwithstanding the question was raised by the judgment defendant and affirmatively decided against him after full hearing both in the trial court which rendered the judgment and in the appellate courts of the same state to which he took the case for review.

The claim that a money judgment by a state court violates due process for want of jurisdiction over the defendant's person is not sustainable if the jurisdiction was questioned by him by plea in abatement and by proceedings in the state courts of review, and sustained after fair hearings before the judgment became finally effective.

A judgment rendered in such circumstances, being sued upon in the courts of another state, was sustained upon the ground that the matter of personal jurisdiction could not be reopened. Held that no violation of due process was involved, since the original judgment satisfied due process, and the reason assigned for upholding it, if erroneous, amounted only to a mistake concerning the law of the state in which the judgment was rendered.

A decision of a state court upholding a judgment of another state raises no question in this Court under the Full Faith and Credit Clause.

What documentary matter should be filed with the declaration in an action in a state court upon a sister state judgment is a local question not reviewable by this Court.

190 Ill.App. 70 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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HOLMES, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court:

This is a suit in Illinois upon a judgment recovered in Tennessee against the Insurance Companies, plaintiffs in error. They pleaded and set up at the trial that there never was a valid service upon them in Tennessee, and

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that the judgment was void. The defendant in error (the plaintiff) showed in reply, without dispute, that the defense was urged in Tennessee by pleas in abatement; that, upon demurrer to one plea and upon issue joined on the...

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