Res judicata; elements

Res judicata means "a matter adjudged; a thing judicially acted upon or decided; a thing or matter settled by judgment." It lays the rule that an existing final judgment or decree rendered on the merits, without fraud or collusion, by a court of competent jurisdiction, upon any matter within its jurisdiction, is conclusive of the rights of the parties or their privies, in all other actions or suits in the same or any other judicial tribunal of concurrent jurisdiction on the points and matters in issue in the first suit.[1]Significantly, the elements of res judicata are: 

(1) the judgment sought to bar the new action must be final

(2) the decision must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties; 

(3) the disposition of the case must be a judgment on the merits; and 

(4) there must be as between the first and second action, identity of parties, subject matter, and causes of action.

[1] Selga v. Brar, G.R. No. 175151, September 21, 2011.