ERISA-Eighth Circuit Upholds District Court Dismissal Of Claim By Ex-Husband That Payments He Made To Former Wife Violated ERISA Anti-alienation Requirements

In Schwartz v. Bogen, No. 17-3812 (8th Cir. 2019). Bruce Schwartz filed an action against Ardis Bogen, his ex-wife, alleging violations of the anti-alienation provisions of ERISA, that arose from payments he made to her for almost three decades. Bogen moved for dismissal on the ground of res judicata, and the district court dismissed the matter with prejudice. On appeal, Schwartz argues the district court erred in granting Bogen’s motion.

Upon reviewing the case, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (the “Court”) affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the case. The Court found that Schwartz had the opportunity to litigate the question of whether the state court had jurisdiction to hear ERISA claims, but he did not do so. Therefore, the Court held that the state court’s judgment is entitled to res judicata and will not be overturned by a district court.


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