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Searle Brothers v. Searle

Searle Brothers v. Searle



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Published by crlstinaaa

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Published by: crlstinaaa on Aug 29, 2008
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Between the "Same" PartiesCase: Searle Brothers v. Searle (UT, 1978) [CB 673-680]588 P.2d 689Facts:1st Action: Df sued her husband for a divorce. There was a piece of
 property that the husband had a one-half interest in; the other half was owned bya partnership with his sons as partners (Searle Bros.). The court awarded theentire property to the Df.2nd Action: Searle Bros. sues Df (their mother) for the one-half interest
 in the property, claiming that it was paid with partnership funds. Trial courtheld that claim and issue preclusion barred this action. Pl's appealed.Issue: Whether the Pl's were parties were bound by the first suit and aretherefore precluded from their claim. -No.Holding: Trial court judgment reversed and remanded for trial.Reasoning:The 1st case was a final judgment on the merits. Therefore, the Searle
 Bros. would be bound by the decree if they were in privity.§ Court says there was no privity. Privity means "one whose interesthas been legally represented at the time."The brothers interests were not legally represented at the
 time.® They are not claiming the interest owned by their father,but their own, separate interest. They were partners, co-owners of the property.® The father was acting in his individual capacity and notas a representative for the partnership.◊ Agents and principles do not have any mutual orsuccessive relationship to rights of property, and so are not in privity with eachother.§ The right to intervene as a party in the prior suit does not bind theparty in the subsequent suit where he failed to so intervene.Searle Bros. not a party to the 1st action.
§ You cant be bound to a decree of an action, to which you were not aparty.§ Sons could not be a party to the divorce action.Dissent: The Searle Bros. were in privity.
§ Brothers were actively involved in the suit (2 of the brothers werecalled to testify on behalf of their father)§ They were fully aware of the adverse claims being asserted about theproperty in question here.They did not assert any claims themselves
§ Father was managing partner of the partnershipHe had control of the property in dispute and the income from
 it, so he should be regarded as representing and protecting whatever intereststhey and the partnership had.RULE: A party who was in privity of by a suit is bound by it, so that they areprecluded from bringing a claim on the same thing.Parties are in privity if he they are so identified in interest with each otherthat they represent the same legal right.Notes:• Is this a case of claim preclusion or issue preclusion? Court invokes both

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