Heres the short summary-
DSS took my kids in 2003, got them back finally in Aug 2004. Also in June 2004, took 3 day old nursing newborn.
Essentially a dirty house case. 3 day old was taken under non emergency circumstances, however with no court order, so dss did this as if it was an emergency, when in fact it was not. Got newborn back in 2 days. Due process issue.
First state civil case (by me) was dismissed on a technical issue, didnt have certain language in it, however county attorney weaseled in the Order 'dismissed on merits', which is really not true. Decision mentions nothing of the kind and no factual review occurred by a trier of fact.
Judge originally ordered that 1st case was dismissed without prejudice, then i made a motion to reconsider, thats where the Order dismissing on the 'merits' was signed. I tried to object in writing to judge before it was signed, even called the law clerk, but it was signed before judge got my letter.
2nd state case now filed, county attorney is trying res judicata and collateral estoppel "it already has been judged". I think I can deflect the collateral estoppel as I never litigated the cause, I have case law on that in my favor. But what do i do about the res judicata?
I am out of appeal on the 1st case, but i suppose I could make a motion to amend the order and if denied, appeal that.
Please help on the res judicata, thats the one that Im not sure how to deflect.