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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 44216 Find in a Library
Title: FILLING THE VOID - JUDICIAL POWER AND JURISDICTIONAL ATTACKS ON JUDGMENTS
Journal: YALE LAW JOURNAL  Volume:87  Issue:1  Dated:(NOVEMBER 1977)  Pages:164-224
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: Yale University
Law School
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 61
Sponsoring Agency: Yale University
New Haven, CT 06520
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AN ARGUMENT IS SET FORTH FOR ELIMINATING THE VOIDNESS DOCTRINE -- THE VIEW THAT THE JUDGMENT OF A COURT WITHOUT JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER OF AN ACTION BEFORE IT IS NULL AND VOID -- FROM AMERICAN LAW.
Abstract: THE TENSION BETWEEN THE GOAL OF RESOLVING DISPUTES QUICKLY AND FINALLY AND THE GOAL OF ASSURING THAT RESOLUTIONS ARE PERCEIVED AS FAIR OR JUST IS REFLECTED IN JUDICIAL ATTITUDES TOWARD THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A COURT'S JURISDICTION AND THE FINALITY OF THE COURT'S JUDGMENTS. THE VOIDNESS DOCTRINE HAS SERVED TO CHECK EXCESSES OF JUDICIAL POWER BUT HAS DONE SO AT CONSIDERABLE COST. ALTHOUGH COURTS HAVE DEVELOPED DOCTRINES TO COUNTER THE VOIDNESS DOCTRINE IN CASES IN WHICH THE DEMANDS OF FINALITY APPEARED MORE IMPORTANT THAN CONSIDERATIONS OF JURISDICTIONAL EXCESS, THE VOIDNESS DOCTRINE HAS NOT DISAPPEARED. EXAMINATION OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE VOIDNESS DOCTRINE IN ENGLAND AND THE UNITED STATES SUGGESTS THAT, IN LIGHT OF CHANGES IN AMERICAN PROCEDURAL LAW IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, THE HISTORICAL JUSTIFICATIONS FOR THE DOCTRINE ARE NO LONGER PERSUASIVE. A THEORY OF JUDICIAL POWER BASED DIRECTLY ON SOCIETY'S NEED FOR FINAL RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES IS DEVELOPED. UNDER THE THEORY, QUESTIONS OF JURISDICTION DO NOT AFFECT ISSUES OF JUDICIAL POWER. ONCE A DISPUTE IS SETTLED, THE FACT OF SETTLEMENT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE IDENTITY OF THE COURT THAT ACTED. ANALYSIS OF CASES CENTRAL TO THE VOIDNESS DOCTRINE IN TERMS OF THE PROPOSED THEORY AND IN TERMS OF THE GOALS THE CASES PURPORT TO ADVANCE LEADS TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THE CASES WERE POORLY DECIDED ON THEIR OWN TERMS AND THAT, CONSEQUENTLY, THERE IS NO LEGITIMATE OBSTACLE TO IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROPOSED THEORY. THE THEORY IS SYNTHESIZED INTO A SIMPLE RULE FOR DEALING WITH ATTACKS ON JUDGMENTS BASED ON AN ASSERTED LACK OF SUBJECT-MATTER JURISDICTION IN THE RENDERING COURT. THE PROPOSED RULE TREATS LACK OF JURISDICTION OVER SUBJECT MATTER AS A DEFENSE ON THE MERITS. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED).
Index Term(s): Jurisdiction
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=44216

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