Badger v. Badger – Case Brief Summary (Utah)

In Badger v. Badger, 69 Utah 293, 254 P. 784 (1927), the defendant twice petitioned the trial court for modification of a divorce decree. See Badger, 69 Utah at 296-97, 254 P. at 785-86.

The defendant's first petition sought modification on the ground that the property settlement on which the decree was based was induced by the plaintiff's misrepresentations and omissions concerning his assets. See 69 Utah at 296-97, 254 P. at 785.

The trial court modified the decree and ordered the plaintiff to pay the defendant an additional amount. See 69 Utah at 296, 254 P. at 785-86.

Two weeks later, the defendant filed a second petition, alleging other misrepresentations that the plaintiff had originally made. See 69 Utah at 296-97, 254 P. at 786.

The plaintiff moved to strike the second petition on res judicata grounds, claiming that the court's decision concerning the first petition barred relief on the second. See 69 Utah at 298-99, 254 P. at 786. The trial court granted the motion. See 69 Utah at 299, 254 P. at 786.

On appeal, the Court affirmed the trial court's dismissal of the defendant's second petition on res judicata grounds.

In so holding, the Court stated:

"It affirmatively is made to appear that at the time the first petition was filed for a modification of the decree of divorce the defendant knew the contents of said decree and that she was to receive no property except that actually awarded to her. . . . The appellant had as much knowledge about the plaintiff's property and income at the time she filed her first petition as she had at the time she filed the second petition which was stricken." 69 Utah at 301, 254 P. at 787.