LOCATION: Collision between Mr. Montrym’s car and motorcycle
DOCKET NO.: 77-1305
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
CITATION: 439 US 322 (1979)
ARGUED: Oct 30, 1978
DECIDED: Jan 09, 1979
Jack B. Levitt - for petitioners
Samuel K. Rosen - for respondent
Facts of the case
Media for Parklane Hosiery Company, Inc. v. ShoreAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 30, 1978 in Parklane Hosiery Company, Inc. v. Shore
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - January 09, 1979 in Parklane Hosiery Company, Inc. v. Shore
Warren E. Burger:
The judgment and opinion of the Court in 77-1305, Parklane Hosiery against Shore will be announced by Mr. Justice Stewart.
This case is here by reason of the grant of a petition for writ of certiorari to review a judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
The respondent brought this stockholder’s class action against the petitioners in a Federal District Court.
The complaint alleged that the petitioners, Parklane Hosiery Company and 12 of its officers, directors and stockholders, had issued a materially false and misleading proxy statement in connection with a merger.
Before the action came to trial, the SEC filed suit against the same defendants in a Federal District Court alleging that the proxy statement that had been issued by Parklane was materially false and misleading in essentially the same respects as those that had been alleged in the respondent’s complaint.
Injunctive relief was requested.
After a 4-day trial, the District Court found that the proxy statement was materially false and misleading in the respects alleged and entered a declaratory judgment to that effect.
The Court of Appeals affirmed this judgment.
The respondent as the plaintiff in the present case then moved for partial summary judgment against the petitioners asserting that the petitioners were collaterally estopped from relitigating the issues that had been resolved against them in the equity action brought by the SEC.
The District Court denied the motion on the ground that such an application of collateral estoppel would deny the petitioners their Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial.
The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed holding that a party who has had issues of fact determined against him after a full trial and a fair opportunity to litigate in a non-jury trial is collaterally estopped from obtaining a subsequent jury trial of the same issues of fact.
The appellate court concluded and unfolding the Seventh Amendment preserves the right to jury trial only with respect to issues of fact, and once those issues have been fully and fairly adjudicated in a prior proceeding, nothing remains for trial, either with or without a jury. Because of an intercircuit conflict, we granted certiorari.
For the reason sent out in considerable detail in the Court's written opinion filed with clerk this morning, we affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeals.
Specifically, we hold that the use of so-called offensive collateral estoppel was permissible in this case and that it choose did not deprive the petitioners of any constitutional right.
Mr. Justice Rehnquist has filed a dissenting opinion.
Warren E. Burger:
Thank you, Mr. Justice Stewart.