(1) Its terms, so long as it has not been regularly vacated or reversed, admit of no dispute, but are conclusively proved by a production of the record. The judgment, however, to be so conclusive, must be valid. It must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction of the subject-matter and of the parties, and must have been prooerly entered of record.6
(2) As soon as it is created, the previously existing rights with which it deals merge'or are extinguished in it. For instance, where a person sues another for breach of contract, or for a civil injury, and a judgment is entered, either by consent or after trial, neither party has any further rights in respect of the cause of action. The judgment conclusively settles their rights, and the matter is said to be res judicata.7 Difficulties arise in applying the doctrine, but of a contract are wanting. There is no aggregatio mentium. The defendant has not voluntarily assented. All the authorities assert that the existence of parties legally capable of contracting is essential to every contract, and yet they nearly all agree that judgments entered against lunatics and others incapable in law of contracting are conclusively binding until vacated or reversed." To the same effect, see Morley v. Lake Shore & M. S. R. Co., 145 U. S. 162, 13 Sup. Ct. 54, 36 L. Ed. 925. Contra, Rockwell v. Butler, 17 Colo. 290, 29 Pac. 458, 17 L. R. A. 611. And see note 17 L. R. A. 611; ante, p. 10; post. p. 634. See "Judgment," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 3.
5 See Leake, Cont. 89-95.
6 Vooght v. Winch, 2 Barn. & Ald. 662; The Rio Grande v. Otis, 23 Wall. 458, 23 L. Ed. 158; Osage City Bank v. Jones, 51 Kan. 379, 32 Pac. 1096; Le Grange's Lessee v. Ward, 11 Ohio, 258; Pennywit v. Foote, 27 Ohio St. 600, 22 Am. Rep. 340; Burwell v. Burgwyn, 105 N. C. 498, 10 S. E. 1099; Suber v. Chandler, 36 S. C. 344, 15 S. E. 426; Junkans v. Bergin, 64 Cal. 203, 30 Pac. 627; Strong v. Lawrence, 58 Iowa, 55, 12 N. W. 74; Hollister v. Abbott, 31 X. II. 442, 61 Am. Dec. 342; post, p. 617. Bee "Judgment," Dec. Dig. (Key-So.) § 684; Cent. Dig. § 1150.
7 Smith v. Nichols, 5 Bing. N. C. at page 220; Harrington v. Harrington, 154 Mass. 517, 28 N. E. 903; Todd v. Stewart, 9 Q. B. 759; Oregonian Ry. Co. v. Navigation Co. (C. C.) 27 Fed. 1277; Burlen v. Shannon, 99 Mass. 200; 96 Am. Dec. 733; Hill v. Morse, 61 Me. 541; post, p. 599. See "Judgment," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 54,0, 560; Cent. Dig. §§ 999-1002, 1079.
it would be beyond the scope of a book on contracts to go into the subject.
(3) The judgment creditor, or person in whose favor the judgment is entered, has certain advantages which an ordinary creditor does not possess. He has a double remedy for his debt. He can take out execution on the judgment, and so obtain directly the sum awarded, and he can also bring an action on the judgment for nonfulfillment of the obligation.8