This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
If the elements of merger which have already been described, are shown to exist,1 a judgment merges the original cause of action so that no action can thereafter be brought on the original cause of action.2 Accordingly, assigning a note "without recourse" after judgment has been taken thereon, does not make the assignor a guarantor.3 A judgment merges a cause of action so that the judgment may be barred by limitations, and hence neither the judgment nor the cause of action can be enforced, even under circumstances which would have prevented limitations from running against the original cause of action.4
A judgment which merges the original cause of action does not destroy liens or collateral securities by which the original cause of action was secured.5 A judgment rendered in an action brought upon a prior judgment, does not merge such prior judgment so as to destroy its priority over other liens upon the realty upon which it had become a lien upon its rendition.6 Merger does not operate to destroy the security of a decree as a lien.7
Merger of a cause of action is not permitted to preclude inquiry into the nature of the original cause of action in cases where it would operate as an injustice to prevent such inquiry.9 A judgment in a cause of action based on a trust relation does not merge the cause of action so as to destroy the trust relation.10. If a judgment for alimony has been obtained in one state, and subsequently a judgment has been obtained in another state upon such judgment, and thereafter the husband obtains a discharge in bankruptcy, the rendition of the second judgment does not prevent an inquiry into the nature of the cause of action upon which the original judgment was based.11
1 See Sec. 2559 et seq. 2Rossiter v. Merriman, 80 Kan. 739, 24 L. R. A. (N.S.) 1095, 104 Pac. 858.
3 Redden v. Bank, 66 Kan. 747, 71 Pac. 578.
4 Olson v. Dahl, 99 Minn. 433, 116 Am. St. Rep. 435, 8 L. R. A. (N.S.) 444, 109 N. W. 1001; Smith v. Brown, 99 N. Y. 377, 52 Am. Rep. 34.
5Rossiter v. Merriman, 80 Kan. 739, 24 L. R. A. (N.S.) 1095, 104 Pac. 858; Springs v. Pharr, 131 N. Car. 191, 92 Am. St. Rep. 775, 42 S. E. 590: Erick-son v. Rubs, 21 N. D. 208, 32 L. R. A.
(N.S.) 1072, 129 N. W. 1025; Turner v. Stewart, 51 W. Va. 493, 41 S. E. 924.
6 Springs v. Pharr, 131 N. Car. 191, 92 Am. St. Rep. 775, 42 S. E. 590.
7 Turner v. Stewart, 51 W. Va. 493, 41 S. E. 924.
8 Brown v. Schintz, 203 111. 136, 67 N. E. 767.
9 New Orleans v. Warner, 175 U. S. 120, 44 L. ed. 96; Gould v. Svendsgaard, 141 Minn. 437, 170 N. W. 595.
10 New Orleans v. Warner, 175 U. S-120, 44 L. ed. 96.