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1940 OK 297
103 P.2d 530
187 Okla. 469
Case Number: 29446
Decided: 05/28/1940
Supreme Court of Oklahoma



¶0 1. JUDGMENT-- Judgment of sister state not subject to re-examination on merits in action on judgment.
A judgment of a sister state rendered by a court having jurisdiction of the cause and the parties, when declared upon in an action brought in the courts of this state, is not subject to re-examination upon the merits.
2. SAME--Statements of plaintiff's attorney to defendant which did not prevent him from defending held insufficient to show extraneous fraud in procurement of judgment.
Statements made by an attorney that an action would never be prosecuted to judgment and which did not prevent a party from defending in said action are insufficient to show extraneous fraud in the procurement of the judgment, and it is not error to exclude such proffered evidence.
3. SAME--Recital of appearance of defendant by attorney conclusive where authority of attorney not denied by proper plea supported by competent evidence.
Where, in an action upon a judgment of a sister state, the record shows that the defendant appeared by attorney at the trial which resulted in the judgment, the jurisdiction of the court to render such judgment sufficiently appears, and where the authority of such attorney is not denied by proper plea and supported by competent evidence, such recital is binding upon said defendant.

Appeal from Court of Common Pleas, Tulsa County; Grady Cornett, Judge.

Action by William Ede Company against C. T. Thompson upon judgment rendered in the Municipal Court of the City and County of San Francisco, Cal. Plaintiff had judgment on a directed verdict, and defendant appeals. Affirmed.

E. M. Connor, of Tulsa, for plaintiff in error.
Poe, Lundy & Morgan, of Tulsa, for defendant in error.


¶1 This appeal is from a judgment rendered on a directed verdict in an action brought upon a judgment which the defendant in error, hereafter referred to as plaintiff, had obtained in a California court against the plaintiff in error, hereafter referred to as defendant.

¶2 The judgment declared upon was valid on its face and recited that it had been rendered after the cause stood regularly for trial and upon appearance of the parties by their respective attorneys and after a trial had of the issues involved. The plea of the defendant, upon which the cause was tried in the court below, was that the judgment had been procured by extraneous fraud. The trial court heard the evidence offered in support of this contention and was of the opinion that the same did not substantiate the plea so made and excluded it from the consideration of the jury and directed a verdict in favor of plaintiff. The defendant appeals from the judgment rendered on said verdict and the order which overruled his motion for new trial.

¶3 As grounds for reversal of said judgment the defendant urges error in the exclusion of the evidence which he offered to support his plea of extraneous fraud and the refusal of the trial court to submit to the jury the question of jurisdiction of the California court.

¶4 The action being one on a judgment of a sister state, it was not open to reexamination upon its merits. United States v. California and O. Land Co., 192 U.S. 355, 48 L. Ed. 476, 24 Sup. Ct. Rep. 266; Fidelity & Deposit Co. of Maryland v. Clanton, 167 Okla. 106, 28 P.2d 566; Roche v. McDonnell, 275 U.S. 449, 72 L. Ed. 365, 48 Sup. Ct. 442, 53 A. L. R. 1141; Mills v. Duryee, 7 Cranch (U. S.) 481, 3 L. Ed. 411, and notes. The evidence offered by the defendant and which was excluded by the court was, in substance, that after the action in California had been commenced against him he had interviewed the attorney for the plaintiff and had been informed that said action would never be prosecuted to judgment; that defendant had not relied entirely upon the statement so made, but had employed an attorney to prepare an answer for him and to protect him against any judgment being taken by default, and that the attorney so employed was the one who appeared for him at the trial in which the judgment was rendered. This evidence, considered in its most favorable light, merely discloses that the attorney for the plaintiff had made certain false statements with reference to prosecution of the action, but it falls far short of showing any fraudulent acts from which it could be inferred that the defendant had been prevented from appearing and defending the action against him and which resulted in the judgment. The defendant cites United States v. Throckmorton, 98 U.S. 62, 25 L. Ed. 93; Brown v. Trent, 36 Okla. 239, 128 P. 895; McIntosh v. Holtgrave, 79 Okla. 63, 191 P. 739, to sustain his contention that the evidence offered should have been admitted. The cases thus cited, while authority for the rule that extraneous fraud will vitiate a judgment procured thereby, have no application to the situation as presented by the record herein. Since the evidence offered by the defendant was insufficient to show such extraneous fraud, the trial court did not err in excluding the evidence so offered.

¶5 The judgment declared upon showed that the defendant had answered in the California court and was represented at the trial by an attorney. In the absence of plea denying the authority of the attorney to so appear, the jurisdiction was sufficiently shown. See 34 C. J. p. 1148; Hill, Adm'r, v. Mendenhall, 88 U.S. 453, 22 L. Ed. 616. This action speaks for itself. No prejudicial error is presented in the record before us.

¶6 Judgment affirmed.

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