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G.E.B. v. S.R.W.

422 Mass. 158, 661 N.E.2d 646 (1996)

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G.E.B. v. S.R.W.

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

422 Mass. 158, 661 N.E.2d 646 (1996)

Facts

A woman (plaintiff) claimed that a man with whom she had engaged in a yearslong sexual relationship, S.R.W. (defendant), was the father of her child, G.E.B. (plaintiff). In 1982 the man sought a declaratory judgment that he was not the father. The child was not a party to this action. The case was settled out of court, with the man agreeing to pay the woman $25,000 in exchange for her signed agreement with the statement that he was not the father. However, eight years later, another action was brought—this time on behalf of the child—seeking a judicial determination of paternity. The complaint was amended to add the woman as a plaintiff. Following a paternity test, the trial court determined that the man was the child’s father and ordered him to pay child support. The man appealed, arguing that the claim had been adjudicated in 1982 and was therefore barred. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Abrams, J.)

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