Prior Litigation May Bar an FDCPA violation – Res Judicata

I answered a comment earlier about suing for the FDCPA while you are in state or local court. When I answered I was not at home and couldn’t remember the term I wanted to use: Res Judicata.

If you are being sued by a debt collector for a debt in local courts and want to file a federal FDCPA complaint, you need to file a federal complaint in short order. If you should get a judgement against you in the local court, it is likely that the concept of Res Judicata will be an issue in the federal court.

Res Judicata prevents a party from relitigating any matter of fact or law that was or should have been adjudicated in a previous proceeding (J. Moore’s Federal Practice pg 405 2nd edition 1999).

This all seems odd to me since in state court you are adjudicating a debt and in federal court you are adjudicating collector’s behavior in collecting the debt. This logic may not hold up in court.

The best method to fight a local suit is to file a federal suit as soon as possible. Then file a notice of dispute in your local court case. Also file a Motion for Enlargement of Time if you need to push things out a bit.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Fight the good fight, Boiler



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