Former Adjudication Law and Legal Definition

Former adjudication means adjudication in a former action. Former action can be a final determination of the right of the parties or a determination of a question of law. A former adjudication bars relitigation. Estoppel by judgment and res judicata are the two branches of former adjudication.

A former adjudication estops a party or his privy from afterwards pleading anything which s/he might have pleaded in the former action. [Goodenow v. Litchfield, 59 Iowa 226 (Iowa 1882)].

“In actions in personam, the doctrine of former adjudication is limited to parties and privies; and by parties will be understood parties to the issue on which the judgment was pronounced. The party who invokes the doctrine of former adjudication must be one who tendered to the other an issue to which the latter could have demurred, or pleaded”. [Jones v. Vert, 121 Ind. 140, 141-142 (Ind. 1889)].