When Can the Doctrine of Res Judicata Be Applied ?

In Atlanta J's v. Houston Foods, 237 Ga. App. 415 (514 S.E.2d 216) (1999) plaintiff filed an action in superior court to recover amounts allegedly due under a lease. Id. at 416. While the superior court case was pending, plaintiff instituted a dispossessory proceeding, and the trial court eventually issued a writ of possession. Id. Defendants then moved for summary judgment in the superior court case on the basis of res judicata. This court reversed the trial court's denial of the motion, concluding: The doctrine of res judicata may be applied where actions between the same parties in relation to the same subject-matter are pending at the same time, and a judgment is rendered in one of such actions. It is immaterial whether the action in which the judgment is interposed as an estoppel was commenced before or after the action in which the adjudication was made. This rule is not affected by the failure to plead the pendency of the latter action. Id. at 419 (5).