Hara v. ReichertAnnotate this Case
Russell Reichert sued Sherry Hara in small claims court, claiming that Hara owed him for a $4,000 loan he gave her. The court found the transaction was a loan and entered judgment for Reichert. Hara subsequently filed a complaint for declaratory judgment in the district court, alleging that the $4,000 was a gift and not a loan. The district court dismissed Hara’s complaint, concluding that the action was barred by both claim preclusion and issue preclusion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) claim preclusion, but not issue preclusion, applies to small claims court judgments; and (2) the elements of claim preclusion were satisfied in this case, and therefore, the district court correctly dismissed Hara’s action.