State ex rel. Henderson v. Tolver

In State ex rel. Henderson v. Tolver, 639 So. 2d 1371 (Ala. Civ. App. 1994), the State of Alabama sought a paternity determination and child support from the alleged father on behalf of a mother of twin daughters. The Court of Civil Appeals of Alabama affirmed dismissals by the district court and by the circuit court on a request for trial de novo because a previous judgment of divorce barred the paternity action on the grounds of res judicata. Id. at 1372. Rejecting the state's argument that the judgment of divorce lacked sufficient "phrases as to paternity" to have preclusive effect, the court of civil appeals noted statements of the parties in the divorce proceedings -- that the children "were born of the marriage," and that the children "were born of our marriage" -- as well as provisions in the judgment dealing with child custody and visitation. Id. at 1372-73.