Taylor v. Briden, 1811

8 Johns. 173 (1811)

Recognition in New York of Court Judgment in a Sister State

In The Founders’ Constitution, an anthology of writings (letters, records of debates and early cases) relating to the Federal Constitution, Chief Justice Kent’s opinion in Taylor v. Briden is included as Document 9 of the materials underlying Article 4, Section 1 (Full Faith and Credit).

The case of Taylor v. Briden — an action on a judgment obtained in the State of Maryland against the defendant, as endorser of a bill of exchange — came before the New York Supreme Court of Judicature in 1811. Chief Justice James Kent wrote the opinion of the Court and, citing the Court’s earlier decision in Hitchcock & Fitch v. Aicken, stated that in Hitchcock, the Court decided the general principle that a judgment of another state was not conclusive, but was to be placed upon the footing of a foreign judgment under the English law. In this case, he expanded on the doctrine and stated: The judgment in Maryland is presumptive evidence of a just demand; and it was incumbent upon the defendant, if he would obstruct the execution of the judgment here, to show, by positive proof, that it was irregularly or unduly obtained…To try over again, as of course, every matter of fact which had been duly decided by a competent tribunal, would be disregarding the comity which we justly owe to the courts of other states.

Note: The case is also known as Taylor v. Bryden.

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