The Appellate Group

Kodiak America v. Summit County

Kodiak America v. Summit County, 2021 UT App 47 (Orme, J.)

Civil Procedure

Below, the district court rejected the argument that res judicata barred Kodiak’s present action against the county because in a prior lawsuit, the court had denied Kodiak’s motion to intervene on the basis that its interests were adequately represented by the County. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding:

  • Distinct inquiries govern whether parties are in privity for purposes of res judicata and whether one party adequately represents the interest of another for purposes of a motion to intervene. “[P]rivity requires that the parties have a relationship that entails their having the same legal right or legal interest, whereas adequate representation requires only that the parties share an interest in the same outcome of litigation regardless of motivation or their respective legal rights.”
  • In this case, the question as to whether Kodiak was in privity with the County for purposes of res judicata was distinct from the adjudication in the prior litigation that the County adequately represented Kodiak’s interests in regard to its motion to intervene, and the district court did not err in holding that Kodiak and the County were not in privity for purposes of res judicata.

Read the full court opinion