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Douglas v. Jackson Police Department

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

July 20, 2015

JEFFERY G. DOUGLAS
v.
JACKSON POLICE DEPARTMENT

Assigned on Briefs July 08, 2015

Appeal from the Circuit Court for Madison County No. C1475 Nathan B. Pride, Judge

Jeffery G. Douglas, Pro Se, Tiptonville, Tennessee.

Matthew R. Courtner, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jackson Police Department.

Arnold B. Goldin, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Brandon O. Gibson, J., and Kenny Armstrong, J., joined.

MEMORANDUM OPINION [1]

ARNOLD B. GOLDIN, JUDGE

This appeal arises from a complaint styled "Equal Protection Clause Violation Action" filed pro se by Jeffery G. Douglas ("Mr. Douglas") against the Jackson Police Department ("the JPD") in the Circuit Court of Madison County on April 7, 2014. The background facts relevant to our disposition of this appeal are not disputed.

Mr. Douglas was convicted by a jury of rape and sexual battery of a thirteen-year-old girl, F.S.[2] The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction in March 2011. State v. Douglas, No. W2010–00986–CCA–R3–CD, 2011 WL 915052 (Tenn. Crim. App. Mar. 16, 2011). In May 2011, the Tennessee Supreme Court denied Mr. Douglas's application for permission to appeal. On April 9, 2013, the court of criminal appeals affirmed denial of Mr. Douglas's petition for post-conviction relief. Douglas v. State, No. W2012-00012-CCA-R3-PC, 2013 WL 1557363 (Tenn. Crim. App. Apr. 9, 2013). The Supreme Court denied Mr. Douglas's application for permission to appeal on September 10, 2013, and Mr. Douglas currently is an inmate of the Tennessee Department of Corrections.

On October 19, 2013, Mr. Douglas filed an affidavit of complaint for an arrest warrant against F.S., J. P., ("Ms. P., " F.S.'s mother), R. T. ("Mr. T., " Ms. P.'s boyfriend) and Gregory D. Gookin ("Mr. Gookin"), the assistant public defender who represented Mr. Douglas in the criminal matter. In his affidavit, Mr. Douglas accused F.S., Ms. P., and Mr. T. of extortion. Mr. Douglas asserted that, in April 2009, Mr. T. confronted him; alleged that Mr. Douglas had raped F.S.; and "made remarks that lead Douglas to believe (after being explained to) that he was being extorted in accordance to that of T.C.A. § 39-14-112 ¶ 3, Affirmative Defense." Mr. Douglas also asserted that Mr. Gookin was guilty of obstruction of justice for failure to report F.S., Ms. P., and Mr. T. to the trial court after Mr. Douglas informed him of the alleged extortion attempt.

By correspondence dated October 24, 2013, Captain Tyreece Miller ("Captain Miller") of the JPD's Criminal Investigation Division informed Mr. Douglas that he would "treat th[e] complaint as [he] would any other complaint/police report." Captain Miller stated that the complaint would be assigned to an investigator, that the results of the investigation would be forwarded to the District Attorney's Office for review, and that Mr. Douglas would receive future correspondence.

On October 31, 2013, Mr. Douglas filed a second affidavit of complaint for an arrest warrant. In his second affidavit, Mr. Douglas named F.S., Ms. P., Mr. T. and Danielle Jones ("Ms. Jones"), a JPD investigator. He asserted allegations of subornation of perjury, aggravated perjury, and perjury under Tennessee Code Annotated §§ 39-16-701, 39-16-702, 39-16-703, and 39-16-705.[3]

Mr. Douglas filed his April 2014 complaint after allegedly receiving no reply to his October 31 affidavit. In his complaint, as we construe it, Mr. Douglas asserted that the JPD's failure to respond to his October 31 affidavit of complaint for an arrest warrant violated his equal protection rights. He sought damages in the amount of two-hundred-million dollars. Mr. Douglas stated in his complaint that he previously had filed an additional action that was pending before the trial court. He did not elaborate on the nature of his pending action.

The JPD filed a motion to dismiss in June 2014. In its motion, the JPD asserted dismissal of Mr. Douglas's action was warranted for the following reasons:

• The doctrine of prior suit pending bars this action, as another suit is pending in Madison County Circuit ...

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