Res Judicata Definition

Latin for a legal issue that has been finally decided by a court, between the same parties, and cannot be ruled on again. For example, if a court rules that John is the father of Betty's child, John cannot raise the issue again in another court. (He could appeal the court's ruling to a higher court, but he could not raise the paternity issue again in another lawsuit.) Sometimes called res adjudicata. (See also: collateral estoppel)