It is well settled that money paid with full knowledge of the facts in satisfaction of a claim on which action has been commenced, but no judgment obtained, is not recoverable.1 Various reasons have been given for this rule. It has been pointed out that payment of a claim under such circumstances would be an idle ceremony if the only effect were to reverse the position of the parties as plaintiff and defendant; that to allow recovery would be unjust to the payee since it would subject him to suit at such time and place as might be chosen by the payor; that if the defendant paying in the first action could make that payment the basis of a second action, the defendant in the second action would have the same privilege and the litigation could be made interminable.1 A more fundamental reason would seem to be that, since a mere resort to legal process will not, under ordinary circumstances, influence the conduct of a man of average intelligence and will, the payment is not regarded as made under compulsion.2
1 Hamlet v. Richardson, 1833, 9 Bing. 644; Moore v. Vestry of Fulham,  1 Q. B. 399; Watson v. Cunningham, 1824, 1 Blackf. (Ind.) 321; Benson v. Monroe, 1851, 7 Cush. (Mass.) 125; 54 Am. Dec. 716; Vereycken v. Vandenbrooks, 1894, 102 Mich. 119 ; 60 N. W. 687; Turner v. Barber, 1901, 66 N. J. L. 496; 49 Atl. 676; Wheatley v. Waldo, 1863, 36 Vt. 237; Beard v. Beard, 1885, 25 W. Va. 486; 52 Am. Rep. 219. In Moore v. Vestry of Fulham, supra, relief was denied though it appeared that the plaintiff made the payment under a mistake of fact which led him to believe that the demand sued upon was just. The reasons for the denial of relief do not apply to such a case, and the decision seems unsound.
The right to recover money extorted by duress of person or of goods, whether under color of legal process or otherwise, is elsewhere considered (ante, Sec. Sec. 214-216).