the doctrine recognizing that the determination of facts litigated between two parties in a
proceeding is binding on those parties in all future proceedings against each other; also known as
issue preclusion. In a subsequent action between the parties on a different claim, the judgment is conclusive as to the issues
raised in the subsequent action, if these issues were actually litigated and determined in the prior action.
The constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy includes within it the right of the defendant (but not the state) to
plead "collateral estoppel" and thereby preclude proof of some essential element of the state's case found in the defendant's favor at
an earlier trial.
See estoppel. See also bar; merger; res judicata.
EXAMPLE: Damien is charged with robbing six persons at a poker game and his defense in the first trial involving the
alleged robbery of only one of the victims is that he wasn't there [ALIBI], and if he is acquitted at that trial due to the
jury's specific acceptance of his alibi, the state will be estopped to relitigate the alibi question with respect to the other related
Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016
"Under the doctrine of res judicata, a judgment on the merits in a prior suit bars a second suit involving the same parties or their privies based on the same cause of action. Under the doctrine of collateral estoppel, on the other hand, the second action is upon a different cause of action, and the judgment in the prior suit precludes relitigation of issues actually litigated and necessary to the outcome of the first action."
- Parklane Hosiery v. Shore, 439 US 322 (1979)
"To support collateral estoppel, the issue must have been “actually ... litigated” in the previous litigation. Karan, 629 S.E.2d at 262–63 (quoting Waldroup, 463 S.E.2d at 7). An issue is considered “actually litigated” when the “issue is properly raised, by the pleadings or otherwise, and is submitted for determination, and is determined.” Restatement of Judgments § 27, cmt. d. Requiring that issues be “actually litigated” ensures that collateral estoppel precludes only those issues that were contested by the parties. See Cleland v. Gwinnett Cnty., 226 Ga.App. 636, 487 S.E.2d 434, 436 (1997) (holding that where one party's interpretation was accepted without contest by both the other party and the court, “it was not ‘actually litigated’ ” and thus could not support collateral estoppel in subsequent litigation)"
"The essential role of this “necessarily decided” requirement is that it prevents judgments that rest on ambiguous grounds from having issue preclusive effect. Thus, where two or more possible grounds would theoretically support a judgment, and both were actually litigated, and the court does not clearly state on which ground its judgment rests, the judgment cannot have issue preclusive effect as to either issue, for neither is definitively the ground of the judgment. See Restatement of Judgments § 27, cmt. i (“If a judgment of a court of first instance is based on determinations of two issues, either of which standing independently would be sufficient to support the result, the judgment is not conclusive with respect to either issue standing alone.”); see also Callaway v. Irvin, 123 Ga. 344, 51 S.E. 477, 480 (1905) (“Thus, where several defenses are pleaded, and the judgment does not show upon which issue the decision was rendered, there is no estoppel.”)."
- Community State Bank v. Strong, 651 F.3d 1241 (11th Cir. 2011)