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UNION NATIONAL BANK v. LAMB

decided: May 16, 1949.

UNION NATIONAL BANK
v.
LAMB



APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF MISSOURI.

Vinson, Black, Reed, Frankfurter, Douglas, Murphy, Jackson, Rutledge, Burton

Author: Douglas

[ 337 U.S. Page 39]

 MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS delivered the opinion of the Court.

Missouri has a statute which limits the life of a judgment to ten years after its original rendition or ten years after its revival.*fn1 Missouri also provides that no judgment can be revived after ten years from its rendition.*fn2 These provisions are applicable to all judgments whether rendered by a Missouri court or by any other court.

Petitioner has a Colorado judgment against respondent. It was obtained in 1927 and revived in Colorado*fn3 in 1945 on personal service upon respondent in Missouri. Suit was then brought in Missouri on the revived Colorado judgment. The Supreme Court of Missouri, though assuming that the judgment was valid in Colorado, refused to enforce it because the original judgment under Missouri's law could not have been revived in 1945. It held that the lex fori governs the limitations of actions and that the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution, Art. IV, § 1, did not require Missouri to recognize Colorado's more lenient policy as respects revival of judgments. 358 Mo. 65, 213 S. W. 2d 416.

1. Petitioner sought to bring the case here by appeal. But we postponed the question of jurisdiction to the merits. Certiorari, not appeal, is the route by which the question whether or not full faith and credit has been given a foreign judgment is brought here. Roche v. McDonald, 275 U.S. 449; Morris v. Jones, 329 U.S. 545.

[ 337 U.S. Page 40]

     Hence we treat the papers as a petition for certiorari, 28 U. S. C. § 2103, and grant it.

2. The opinion of the Supreme Court of Missouri was handed down July 12, 1948, and the motion for rehearing or for transfer to the court en banc*fn4 was denied September 13, 1948. The appeal was allowed by the Missouri court on December 13, 1948. That was within three months and therefore timely prior to the revision of the Judicial Code. But 28 U. S. C. § 2101 (c), effective September 1, 1948, reduced that period to ninety days. The ninetieth day was December 12, 1948, which was a Sunday. There is a contrariety of views whether an act which by statute is required to be done within a stated period may be done a day later when the last day of the period falls on Sunday.*fn5 Thus Street v. United States, 133 U.S. 299, treating Sunday as a dies non under a statute which authorized the President to transfer army officers from active duty and to fill vacancies in the active list on or before January 1, 1871, allowed the action to be taken on the following day. We think the policy of that decision is applicable to 28 U. S. C. § 2101 (c). Rule 6 (a) of the Rules of Civil Procedure provides that where the last day for performance of an act falls on a Sunday or a legal holiday, performance on the next day which is not a Sunday or legal holiday is timely.*fn6 That

[ 337 U.S. Page 41]

     rule provides the method for computation of time prescribed or allowed not only by the rules or by order of court but by "any applicable statute." Since the rule had the concurrence of Congress,*fn7 and since no contrary policy is expressed in the statute governing this review, we think that the considerations of liberality and leniency which find expression in Rule 6 (a) are equally applicable to 28 U. S. C. § 2101 (c). The appeal therefore did not fail for lack of timeliness.

3. Roche v. McDonald is dispositive of the merits. Roche had a Washington judgment against McDonald. He brought suit on that judgment in Oregon. He obtained a judgment in Oregon at a time when the original judgment had by Washington law expired and could not be revived. Roche then sued in Washington on the Oregon judgment. The Court reversed the Supreme Court of Washington which had held that full faith and credit need not be given the Oregon judgment since it would have been void and of no effect if rendered in Washington. The Court held that once the court of the sister State had jurisdiction over the parties and of the subject matter its judgment was valid and could not be impeached in the State of the forum, ...


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