Derr, et al. v. Swarek, et al.

The Swareks filed suit against Herman Derr and DPI in Chancery Court, alleging that Derr and his corporation breached a contract for the sale of Mississippi farmland. Derr died while the action was pending and years later, Derr Heirs filed suit against the Swareks in the German Regional Court seeking a declaratory judgment that they were not liable for any claims arising from the putative land contract. After the initiation of the German lawsuit but before the decision of the Regional Court, the Swareks dismissed all of their claims against Derr with prejudice and withdrew a pending motion to substitute the Derr Heirs in the Mississippi action. The Regional Court dismissed the Derr Heirs' claim but the German Higher Regional Court reversed. Subsequently, the Derr Heirs returned to Mississippi and attempted to enforce a German order for costs in federal district court. The court concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion by refusing to enforce the German cost award where the Higher Regional Court's decision to sidestep the comity determination and readjudicate claims that had already been settled in the Chancery Court violated the Mississippi public policy of res judicata and the Swarek's right to permanently terminate their claims. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.View "Derr, et al. v. Swarek, et al." on Justia Law