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Appeals of Declaratory Judgments

A declaratory judgment is a conclusive and binding adjudication of the rights and status of the litigants.  Usually, declaratory judgments are sought in situations that involve contracts, deeds, leases, and wills.  Declaratory judgments also involve individuals who seek to determine and declare their rights under specific regulatory or criminal laws.

A declaratory judgment like any other judgment is reviewable on appeal.  In Andrew Robinson Int’l, Inc. v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 547 F.3d 48 (1st Cir. Mass. 2008), the court stated that a valid and final judgment in an action brought to declare rights or other legal relations of the parties is conclusive in a subsequent action between them as to the matters declared.  Therefore, a plaintiff who wins a declaratory judgment may seek further relief in an action on the same claim which prompted the action for a declaratory judgment.  This may include damages which had accrued at the time the declaratory relief was sought.  The effect of a declaratory judgment depends upon the scope of the declaration and with respect to the matters not declared, the parties are not precluded.

Inside Appeals of Declaratory Judgments