A payment made after the entry of adverse judgment may be claimed, with better reason, to be made under compulsion. But so long as the judgment remains, another obstacle to the recovery of money collected thereunder is encountered in the doctrine of res judicata:
Harriot v. Hampton, 1797, 7 Term R. 269: The defendant formerly brought an action against the present plaintiff for goods sold, for which the plaintiff had before paid and obtained the defendant's receipt; but not being able to find the receipt at that time, and having no other proof of payment, he could not defend the action but was obliged to submit and pay the money again, and he gave a cognovit for the costs. The plaintiff afterwards found the receipt, and brought this action for money had and received in order to recover back the amount of the sum so wrongfully enforced in payment. Lord Kenyon, C.J. (p. 269): "I am afraid of such a precedent. If this action could be maintained I know not what cause of action could ever be at rest. After a recovery by process of law there must be an end of litigation, otherwise there would be no security for any person."
Walker v. Ames, 1823, 2 Cow. (N. Y.) 428: On certiorari to a Justice's court. The action was case in the court below, by Ames against Walker; "For that the defendant did fraudulently obtain a judgment, or a certain part thereof, against the present plaintiff, to his damage $25." The defendant pleaded the former suit in bar, which was overruled by the Justice. The fraud complained of was that Walker, in the suit against Ames, recovered on a book account, and also on a note given by Ames to Walker, on a settlement of the same account, for the balance thereof. Verdict and judgment for the plaintiff. Curia (p. 429): "The judgment must be reversed. This was overhauling the first judgment, and attempting to recover back a portion of it, on the ground that it was not due, and had been unconscientiously recovered. . . . There would, indeed, be no end to litigation, nor any security to any person, if actions like this could be sustained." 1
1 See Keener, "Quasi-Contracts," p. 411.
2 Turner v. Barber, 1901, 66 N. J. L. 496; 49 Atl. 676; Wheatley v. Waldo, 1863, 36 Vt. 237.
It has commonly been thought that Lord Mansfield, in the much discussed case of Moses v. Macferlan,2 reached a contrary conclusion. It there appeared that the plaintiff Moses had indorsed to the defendant Macferlan four several promissory notes of which the plaintiff was payee, for the purpose of enabling the defendant to recover from the maker, the defendant agreeing to indemnify the plaintiff against liability because of such indorsement. Notwithstanding the agreement of indemnity, the defendant Macferlan sued the plaintiff Moses in the Court of Conscience, as indorser of the notes. The plaintiff set up the agreement of indemnity as a defense, but the court, "thinking they had no power to judge of it," gave judgment for the present defendant. The plaintiff thereupon paid the judgment, and brought this action in the King's Bench to recover the money so paid. The court held that he might recover.
1 Accord: De Medina v. Grove, 1846, 10 Q. B. 152, aff. 172; Trustees of the University v. Keller, 1840, 1 Ala. 406, (and see Turlington v. Slaughter, 1875, 54 Ala. 195); Carter v. First Ecclesiastical Society, 1820, 3 Conn. 455; Hagar v. Springer, 1872, 60 Me. 436; Gordon's Extr. v. Mayor of Baltimore, 1847, 5 Gill (Md.) 231; Homer v. Fish, 1823, 1 Pick. (Mass.) 435; 11 Am. Dec. 218; Fuller v. Shattuck, 1859, 13 Gray (Mass.) 70, (but see Lazell v. Miller, 1818, 15 Mass. 207); People's Savings Bank v. Heath, 1900, 175 Mass. 131; 55 N. E. 807; 78 Am. St. Rep. 481; Greenabaum v. Elliott, 1875, 60 Mo. 25; Desert National Bank v. Nuckolls, 1890, 30 Neb. 754; 47 N. W. 202; Wilson v. Cameron, 1842, 3 N. Bruns. 542; Tilton v. Gordon, 1817, 1 N. H. 33; Bink v. Wood, 1864, 43 Barb. (N. Y. Sup. Ct.) 315; Converse v. Sickles, 1893, 74 Hun 429; 26 N. Y. Supp. 590, (case reversed on other grounds: 1895, 146 N. Y. 200, 205; 40 N. E. 777); Finklestone v. Lanzke, 1909, 63 Misc. Rep. 330; 117 N. Y. Supp. 183; Federal Ins. Co. v. Robinson, 1876, 82 Pa. St. 357; Ogle v. Baker, 1890, 137 Pa. St. 378; 20 Atl. 998; 21 Am. St. Rep. 886; James v. Cavit, 1807, 2 Brev. (S. C.) 174; Kirklan v. Brown's Admrs., 1843, 4 Humph. (23 Tenn.) 174; 40 Am. Dec. 635; Corey v. Gale, 1841, 13 Vt. 639. But see, contra, Clay v. Clay, 1854, 13 Tex. 195. In Ward & Co. v. Wallis,  1 Q. B. 675, 678, it is said that the rule does not apply where the person securing the judgment is guilty of bad faith. But see, contra, Walker v. Ames, quoted in the text.
21760, 2 Burr. 1005, 1008-9.
Lord Mansfield : "Many other objections, besides that which arose at the trial, have since been made as to the propriety of this action in the present case. . . . 3d. Objection. Where money has been recovered by the judgment of a court having competent jurisdiction, the matter can never be brought over again by a new action. Answer. It is most clear 'that the merits of a judgment can never be over-haled by an original suit, either at law or in equity.' Till the judgment is set aside or reversed, it is conclusive, as to the subject matter of it, to all intents and purposes. But the ground of this action is consistent with the judgment of the Court of Conscience; it admits the commissioners did right. They decreed upon the indorsement of the notes by the plaintiff: which indorsement is not now disputed. The ground upon which this action proceeds, was no defence against that sentence. It is enough for us, that the commissioners adjudged 'they had no cognizance of such collateral matter.' We cannot correct an error in their proceedings; and ought to suppose what is done by a final jurisdiction, to be right. But we think 'the commissioners did right, in refusing to go into such collateral matter.' . . . The ground of this action is not, 'that the judgment was wrong,' but, 'that, (for a reason which the now plaintiff could not avail himself of against that judgment), the defendant ought not in justice to keep the money.' And at Guildhall, I declared very particularly, 'that the merits of a question determined by the commissioners, where they had jurisdiction, never could be brought over again in any shape whatever.'"