State ex rel. Lynn v. Eddy, No. 12748

CourtSupreme Court of West Virginia
Writing for the CourtHAYMOND
Citation163 S.E.2d 472,152 W.Va. 345
PartiesSTATE ex rel. Omer LYNN v. The Honorable Don J. EDDY, Judge, Circuit Court of Monongalia County, WestVirginia, and Margie Lynn.
Decision Date01 October 1968
Docket NumberNo. 12748

Page 472

163 S.E.2d 472
152 W.Va. 345
STATE ex rel. Omer LYNN
v.
The Honorable Don J. EDDY, Judge, Circuit Court of
Monongalia County, WestVirginia, and Margie Lynn.
No. 12748.
Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.
Submitted Sept. 4, 1968.
Decided Oct. 1, 1968.

Page 473

Syllabus by the Court

1. Under Article IV, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States, a valid judgment of a court of another state is entitled to full faith and credit in the courts of this State.

2. 'Full faith and credit must be given to the judgment or decree of a sister state if it is not successfully attacked on jurisdictional grounds.' Point 4, syllabus, Brady v. Brady, 151 W.Va. 900 (158 S.E.2d 359).

3. By virtue of the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution of the United States, a judgment of a court of another state has the same force and effect in this State as it has in the state in which it was pronounced.

4. A judgment rendered by a court of another state or by a court of this State is subject to attack for lack of jurisdiction to render such judgment or for fraud in its procurement.

5. Under the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution of the United States when a proceeding has been adjudicated by the court of a sister state, the final judgment of that court must be given the effect of res judicata by the court of the forum state.

6. A judgment rendered in an action in a court of one state may be availed of as a bar to an action involving the same cause of action pending in a court of another state which was instituted before the institution of the action in which the judgment was [152 W.Va. 346] recovered; and regardless of which action was first instituted the first final judgment rendered in one of such courts becomes conclusive in the other as res judicata.

7. An adjudication by a court having jurisdiction of the subject matter and the parties is final and conclusive, not only as to the matters actually determined, but as to every other matter which the parties might have litigated as an incident to such matters and which comes within the legitimate purview of the subject matter of

Page 474

the action; and it is not essential that the matter should have been formally put in issue in the former litigation, but it is sufficient that the status of the action was such that the parties might have had the subject matter disposed of on its merits.

8. 'Under Section 1, Article 1, Chapter 53, Code, 1931, the writ of prohibition lies as a matter of right in all cases of usurpation and abuse of power when the court does not have jurisdiction of the subject matter in controversy, or, having such jurisdiction, exceeds its legitimate powers.' Point 1, syllabus, State ex rel. Heck's, Inc. v. Gates, 149 W.Va. 421 (141 S.E.2d 369).

9. Although the court has jurisdiction of the subject matter in controversy and of the parties, if it clearly appears that in the conduct of the case it has exceeded its legitimate powers with respect to some pertinent question a writ of prohibition will lie to prevent such abuse of power.

10. Though a writ of error or an appeal from a final judgment may be available, prohibition may be invoked when it clearly appears that the trial court is without jurisdiction or has exceeded its legitimate powers.

Joseph A. Laurita, Jr., and Charles H. Haden, II, Morgantown, for relator.

Clark B. Frame, Morgantown, for respondents.

[152 W.Va. 347] HAYMOND, Judge:

This is an original proceeding in prohibition instituted in this Court June 24, 1968, in which the petitioner, Omer Lynn, seeks a writ to prohibit the defendants, Honorable Don J. Eddy, Judge of the Circuit Court of Monongalia County, West Virginia, and Margie Lynn, herein sometimes referred to as the defendant, from proceeding further with the prosecution or the hearing of a civil action for divorce instituted in the Circuit Court of Monongalia County, West Virginia, on July 27, 1967, by Margie Lynn, as plaintiff, against the petitioner, Omer Lynn, as defendant.

Upon the petition and its exhibits this Court awarded a rule against the defendants returnable September 4, 1968. On that date this proceeding was submitted for decision upon the foregoing petition and its exhibits, the answer of the defendant Margie Lynn and its exhibits, the written briefs of the petitioner and the defendant Margie Lynn, and the arguments of counsel in behalf of the petitioner and the defendants.

The petitioner and the defendant Margie Lynn were married March 19, 1949 at Terra Alta, in Preston County, West Virginia. Following their marriage they resided together in or near Point Marion, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, until April 1962 when, according to the defendant, the petitioner deserted and abandoned her and they have not since lived or cohabited together.

On April 19, 1961, during the March Term 1961 of the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, the petitioner instituted a divorce action, No. 418, in that court, seeking a divorce on the statutory ground of indignities to his person by the defendant, and on March 9, 1962, during the March Term 1962 of the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, the defendant Margie Lynn instituted a divorce action, No. 82, in that court, against the petitioner Omer Lynn, seeking a divorce on the [152 W.Va. 348] statutory grounds of indignities to her person and cruel and barbarous acts against her by the petitioner. In each of the foregoing divorce actions the defendants were personally served with process and were represented by counsel. The actions were consolidated and heard together. A Master was appointed in Action 418 at the March Term 1961 but, according to the report of the Master, hearings did not begin until September 13, 1966, because a petition for alimony and counsel fees had been filed by Margie Lynn and had not been disposed of on the record and various continuances

Page 475

were had because of the work schedule of the plaintiff Omer Lynn and the inability of the defendant Margie Lynn to appear due to illnesses, and the hearings were not concluded until June 23, 1967.

In connection with the foregoing litigation Omer Lynn was required to pay $105.00 for the support of the three infant children of Omer Lynn and Margie Lynn, and Margie Lynn has the custody of the children. For a period of approximately one year she worked at the West Virginia University Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia. She and Omer Lynn jointly owned the real estate in which she resides in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. On or about April 11, 1966, during the pendency of the foregoing divorce actions in the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, the petitioner Omer Lynn came to Morgantown, in Monongalia County, West Virginia, where he has been employed by the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, and since that time he has been living in Monongalia County, West Virginia.

At the hearings before the Master, Phillip O. Carr, in the consolidated cases which began September 13, 1966 and ended June 23, 1967, Omer Lynn was present in person and by counsel and Margie Lynn was also present in person and by counsel, and 400 pages of testimony of witnesses were taken and filed. The Master found and reported to the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, that the parties were properly before the court, that [152 W.Va. 349] the defendants in both actions were personally served with process in Fayette County, and that the Court of Common Pleas had jurisdiction of the parties and the subject matter in both actions, and recommended that Omer Lynn, the plaintiff in Action 418, be granted a divorce and that Margie Lynn, the plaintiff in Action 82, be refused a divorce. The report of the Master in the consolidated cases was duly filed December 21, 1967.

On January 8, 1968, the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, by final decree rendered on that date, approved the report of the Master and adopted his findings of fact and conclusions of law and granted Omer Lynn, the plaintiff in Action 418, a divorce from the defendant Margie Lynn and dissolved the bonds of matrimony previously existing between them and awarded costs to the plaintiff in that action.

While the consolidated actions were pending in the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and before a final decision in either of them was rendered, the defendant Margie Lynn instituted a civil action, No. 3002, in the Circuit Court of Monongalia County, West Virginia, and caused the petitioner Omer Lynn to be personally served with process in Monogalia County where he was then living. In the original complaint in that action the plaintiff Margie Lynn charged the petitioner with desertion and upon the allegations of that complaint she sought a divorce from him on the ground that he had deserted her for more than one year before the institution of that proceeding. By decree entered September 11, 1967, the Circuit Court of Monongalia County overruled the motion of the petitioner Omer Lynn, the defendant in that action, to dismiss the action on the grounds that he was not a resident of Monongalia County for the period of one year before the institution of that action and that a divorce action was pending between the same parties in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. After overruling the motion the circuit court awarded the custody of the children to Margie Lynn and required the petitioner to pay her $150.00 per month and an attorney's[152 W.Va. 350] fee of $200.00. On September 30, 1967, the...

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25 practice notes
  • Jordache Enterprises v. NAT. UNION FIRE INS., No. 24672.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 24, 1998
    ...a court of another state is entitled to full faith and credit in the courts of this State." Syllabus Point 1, State ex rel. Lynn v. Eddy, 152 W.Va. 345, 163 S.E.2d 472 (1968). Further, "[b]y virtue of the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution of the United States, a judgment of a......
  • White v. Manchin, Nos. 16312
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 13, 1984
    ...used the terms "residence" and "domicile" interchangeably in the probate and domestic relations contexts. See State ex rel. Lynn v. Eddy, 152 W.Va. 345, 351-52, 163 S.E.2d 472, 476-77 (1968); State ex rel. Linger v. County Court, 150 W.Va. 207, 228, 144 S.E.2d 689, 703 (1965); Tate v. Tate,......
  • Caperton v. A.T. MAssey Coal Company, Inc., No. 33350 (W.Va. 11/21/2007), No. 33350.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 21, 2007
    ...of a court of another state is entitled to full faith and credit in the courts of this State." Syl. pt. 1, State ex rel. Lynn v. Eddy, 152 W. Va. 345, 163 S.E.2d 472 (1968). Further, "[b]y virtue of the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution of the United States, a judgment of a c......
  • Caperton v. A.T. MAssey Coal Company, Inc., No. 33350 (W.Va. 11/21/2007), No. 33350.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 21, 2007
    ...of a court of another state is entitled to full faith and credit in the courts of this State." Syl. pt. 1, State ex rel. Lynn v. Eddy, 152 W. Va. 345, 163 S.E.2d 472 (1968). Further, "[b]y virtue of the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution of the United States, a judgment of a c......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
25 cases
  • Jordache Enterprises v. NAT. UNION FIRE INS., No. 24672.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 24, 1998
    ...a court of another state is entitled to full faith and credit in the courts of this State." Syllabus Point 1, State ex rel. Lynn v. Eddy, 152 W.Va. 345, 163 S.E.2d 472 (1968). Further, "[b]y virtue of the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution of the United States, a judgment of a......
  • White v. Manchin, Nos. 16312
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 13, 1984
    ...used the terms "residence" and "domicile" interchangeably in the probate and domestic relations contexts. See State ex rel. Lynn v. Eddy, 152 W.Va. 345, 351-52, 163 S.E.2d 472, 476-77 (1968); State ex rel. Linger v. County Court, 150 W.Va. 207, 228, 144 S.E.2d 689, 703 (1965); Tate v. Tate,......
  • Caperton v. A.T. MAssey Coal Company, Inc., No. 33350 (W.Va. 11/21/2007), No. 33350.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 21, 2007
    ...of a court of another state is entitled to full faith and credit in the courts of this State." Syl. pt. 1, State ex rel. Lynn v. Eddy, 152 W. Va. 345, 163 S.E.2d 472 (1968). Further, "[b]y virtue of the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution of the United States, a judgment of a c......
  • Caperton v. A.T. MAssey Coal Company, Inc., No. 33350 (W.Va. 11/21/2007), No. 33350.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 21, 2007
    ...of a court of another state is entitled to full faith and credit in the courts of this State." Syl. pt. 1, State ex rel. Lynn v. Eddy, 152 W. Va. 345, 163 S.E.2d 472 (1968). Further, "[b]y virtue of the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution of the United States, a judgment of a c......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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