Friday, August 24, 2012

5th DCA Overturns Finding of Res Judicata

The Fifth District Court of Appeal ruled today in Fabre v. Fabre, reversing the lower court’s dismissal of a petition for paternity.  The petition had been dismissed as the child’s mother and her then husband’s final judgment of dissolution of marriage established paternity, and the lower tribunal found this to be res judicata as to any new request for determination of paternity.  The Fifth District found this was error, in that the purported father was not a party to that original divorce suit.  While the Appellee argued that the pleading was insufficient to state a case, the Fifth District pointed out that the Appellee was attempting to correct that error by amendment, and his action was dismissed instead.  The dismissal was reversed, and on remand, the lower court is mandated to permit the amendment.

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