Legal Memorandum: Application of the Anti-Injunction Act

Issue: May the federal Anti-Injunction Act apply when a plaintiff was not a party to a prior suit?

Area of Law: Administrative Law, Administrative Law & Regulation (Federal and State), Constitutional Law
Keywords: Anti-Injunction Act; A "party" to the proceeding; Due process claims
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 917 F.2d 1017; 456 U.S. 461; 66 F.3d 741
Cited Statutes: 28 U.S.C. § 2283
Date: 08/01/2000

Certain due process claims may be barred by the Anti-Injunction Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2283, however, a critical prerequisite to application of the statute is: “only a party, or, . . . one who is in privity with a party is barred by the Anti-Injunction Act.”   Chezen v. BeverlyEnterprises-Texas, Inc., 66 F.3d 741, 742 n.3 (5th Cir. 1995) (quoting Pelfresne v. Village of Williams Bay, 917 F.2d 1017, 1020 (7th Cir. 1990)).

An absent class member over whom a court has no personal jurisdiction cannot rationally be regarded as a “party” to that proceeding.  See Henry Monoghan, Antisuit Injunctions and Preclusion Against Absent Nonresident Class Members, 98 Colum. L. Rev. 1148, 1194 (1998) (“absent class members are not parties”).  A state court judgment that violates due process has not preclusive effect either in the state that rendered it or in any other state or federal court.  Kremer v. Chemical Constr. Corp., 456 U.S. 461, 482 (1982).  Such judgments are simply not entitled to full faith and credit.  Id. at 482.


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