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Res judicata denotes an important legal doctrine that generally means that once a matter is judicially decided, it is finally decided. The doctrine bars re-litigation of matters that have already been determined in adjudication. Broadly, res judicata bars the reconsideration of settled civil matters. Specifically, res judicata precludes only subsequent suits on the same cause of action between the same parties after a final judgment on the merits.

Res judicata can also mean the judged matter itself. In other words, a matter that is final such as a claim or cause of action that is settled or a judgment, award, or other determination that is considered final and bars re-litigation of the same matter.

“The defendant initially responded with a motion to dismiss on res judicata grounds.”