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DURFEE V. DUKE, 375 U. S. 106 (1963)

U.S. Supreme Court

Durfee v. Duke, 375 U.S. 106 (1963)

Durfee v. Duke

No. 37

Argued October 24, 1963

Decided December 2, 1963

375 U.S. 106


Petitioners sued respondent in a Nebraska State Court to quiet title to certain land on the Missouri River, which is the boundary between Nebraska and Missouri. The Nebraska Court had jurisdiction over the subject matter only if the land was in Nebraska, and that depended on whether a shift in the river's course had been caused by avulsion or accretion. Respondent appeared in the Nebraska Court and fully litigated the issues, including that as to the Court's jurisdiction over the subject matter. The Court found in favor of petitioners, and ordered that title to the land be quieted in them. The Nebraska Supreme Court affirmed, finding specifically that the rule of avulsion was applicable, that the land was in Nebraska, that the Nebraska courts had jurisdiction over the subject matter, and that title to the land was in petitioners. Subsequently, respondent sued in a Missouri State Court to quiet title to the same land, claiming that it was in Missouri. The case was removed to a Federal District Court.

Held: The judgment of the Nebraska Supreme Court was res judicata as to all issues, including the issue of jurisdiction, and it was binding on the District Court under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution and the federal statute enacted to implement it.

Pp. 375 U. S. 107-116.

308 F.2d 209 reversed.

Page 375 U. S. 107

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