Stewart Title Guaranty Co. v. DCBS

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: 07-01-2015
  • Case #: A151470
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: DEVORE, J., for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; & Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Oregon common law, issue preclusion applies where an issue of ultimate fact essential to the decision arises in a subsequent proceeding that was determined by a valid and final judgment in a prior proceeding between the same parties.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) appealed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to Stewart Title Guarantee Co. on the ground of issue preclusion. Under Oregon common law, issue preclusion consists of five elements: (1) the issue in the two proceedings is identical; (2) the issue was actually litigated to a final judgment on the merits and was essential to the decision in the prior case; (3) the party to be precluded had a full opportunity to be heard on the issue; (4) the party to be precluded was in fact a party, or was in privity with a party, in the prior case; (5) the prior proceeding was the type of proceeding to which the court gives preclusive effect. The party claiming issue preclusion bears the burden of proof on the first, second, and fourth elements, and the party to be precluded on the third and fifth. On appeal, DCBS assigns error to the trial court’s ruling and argues that the first and third elements were not met, and that even if they were, the circumstances of this case warrant an exception to applying issue preclusion. The Court found that the first and third elements were in fact met, and that there were no circumstances in this case that suggested the result would be different with a second trial or that applying issue preclusion would result in an injustice. Affirmed.

Advanced Search