March 24, 2018 ( datsyn.com) – For these two(2) cases the Appellant Court in New Jersey involving parties Rymir Satterthwaite and Lillie Coley the Appellant Division did not apply the doctrines of Res Judicata and Collateral Estoppel correctly.
The New Jersey Appellant Division relied on a prior Pennsylvania Court holding that allegedly answered the question of paternity of Rymir to dismiss the current New Jersey paternity action. In so doing, the Appellant Court ignored key facts and circumstances surrounding their cases, including, but not limited to, the salient fact that the Pennsylvania Order relied upon as dispositive on the question of paternity Rymir was vacated by a subsequent Pennsylvania Order. As such, the original order cannot be viewed as a final order or resolution of the issue of paternity, and accordingly, cannot be the basis for a denial of parties rights while using res judicata/collateral estoppel grounds.
The law in this case involves issues that affect thousands of potential Family Court litigants each year who are involved in Paternity, Custody and other Family Court related matters that cross state lines. These cases bring forward numerous questions related to the doctrines of Res Judicata, Collateral Estoppel, Full Faith and Credit, and Personal and Subject Matter Jurisdiction, whereby the courts and those seeking to establish parental obligations frequently encounter fraudulent attempts by defendants to avoid these obligations via these legal doctrines. These issues have become more pertinent due to the mobility of today’s society. Questions of paternity may be raised in one state, followed by subsequent paternity actions in other states, as the child moves between relatives. The legal effect of these decisions, and the validity of one state’s findings over another, is at the very heart of the matter at hand.
The May 19, 2011 Pennsylvania Advisory Order and subsequent New Jersey actions wholly ignore the separate action initiated by non-party Graves on or about April 4, 2011. This action established that non-party Graves was not in fact the father of RYMIR., and left open once again the question of RYMIR.’s paternity. Then on December 9, 2011 in PA, the July 16, 2010 PA Order of Graves was vacated, and the paternity rights of RYMIR’s was lawful.
Public Importance – This information presents issues of general public importance and, by creating new rules with regards to the issues of collateral estoppel and res judicata, namely, reliance on a vacated judgment in a neighboring State Action as preclusion of issues of paternity, the Appeal Court conflicted with substantial precedent. However, a vacated judgment bears no conclusive effect on the underlying action; therefore, it can have no status as a final judgment for purposes of other actions. “As a general rule, a vacated judgment and the factual findings underlying it have no preclusion effect; the judgment is a legal nullity. Thus far the New Jersey Appellant has provided a reason why Lillie nor Rymir were given full faith and credit for a sister state Order of Pennsylvania dated December 9, 2011. Rymir a minority young man about 22 years old paternity has not be adjudicated fully and there is pending appeals and perhaps parties will file again in Federal Court regarding the opinion issued by the State of New Jersey. This is high profile case and is questions are now being asked how could something like this be overlooked by Learned Judges in New Jersey.
In this Appellant’s Opinion it does not even mention the Pennsylvania Order of Graves being vacated on December 9, 2011in PA. See Links of Opinions below.