United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a resident of Birmingham, Alabama, brings this pro se, in
forma pauperis action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against Spencer Louis Maige, a resident of Fairview,
Tennessee. (Doc. No. 1). The plaintiff seeks injunctive
relief and damages. (Id. at p. 4).
Required Screening of the Complaint
Court must screen in forma pauperis complaints
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) to determine if the
complaint contains claims that are frivolous, malicious, or
fail to state claims upon which relief can be granted.
Id. Because the plaintiff is proceeding as a pauper
in this action, the Court must screen her complaint pursuant
to § 1915(e)(2).
to the complaint, the Defendant is the lead singer in a band
that performs at various public venues in many different
states. In February 2014, the Plaintiff was found guilty of
stalking the Defendant in Tennessee. The Defendant was
granted an Order of Protection and the Plaintiff was placed
on probation. The Plaintiff later was found guilty of
violating the Order of Protection and was held in the
Williamson County, Tennessee, jail for ninety (90) says. The
Plaintiff claims that the Defendant defamed her character and
committed perjury in an attempt to obtain the Order of
Protection. (Doc. No. 1 at pp. 1-3).
review of the Court's records shows that, on August 1,
2016, the Plaintiff brought a federal civil rights action
against these same Defendant alleging essentially the same
facts as those raised in the instant complaint. See Susan
Elizabeth Meagher v. Spencer Louis Maige, No.
3:16-cv-02058 (M.D. Tenn. August 9, 2016)(Trauger, J.). On
August 9, 2016, the Court dismissed that action, finding that
the Plaintiff failed to state claims upon which relief can be
granted because the Defendant was not acting under color of
state law when he charged the Plaintiff with stalking and
sought an Order of Protection. (Id., Doc. Nos. 3 and
broad doctrine of res judicata encompasses both
claim preclusion (res judicata) and issue preclusion
(collateral estoppel). J.Z.G. Res., Inc. v. Shelby Ins.
Co., 84 F.3d 211, 214 (6th Cir. 1996). Under
claim preclusion, a final judgment on the merits bars any and
all claims by the parties or their privies based on the same
cause of action, as to every matter actually litigated, as
well as every theory of recovery that could have been
presented. Id. Under issue preclusion, once an issue
actually is determined by a court of competent jurisdiction,
that determination is conclusive in subsequent suits based on
a different cause of action when used against any party to
the prior litigation. Montana v. United States, 440
U.S. 147, 152-54 (1979). Dismissal with prejudice is
considered a final judgment on the merits for purposes of
res judicata. See Haddad v. Mich. Nat'l
Corp., 34 Fed.Appx. 217, 218 (6th Cir.
2002)(citing Matter of W. Tex. Mktg. Corp., 12 F.3d
487, 501 (5th Cir. 1994)).
reviewing the Plaintiff's instant complaint, it appears
that the Plaintiff has restated the same or similar
allegations stemming from the stalking incident in February
2014. The Court already has rendered a final decision on the
merits regarding the Plaintiffs claims against the Defendant.
As a result, the Plaintiffs instant claims are barred by the
doctrine of res judicata. Additionally, all theories
of recovery related to the Plaintiff s stalking incident that
could have been presented to the Court in the Plaintiffs
prior lawsuit are barred by the doctrine of res
even if the Plaintiffs claims were not barred by the doctrine
of res judicata, the Plaintiff s complaint was filed
over a year after the alleged events occurred so the
Plaintiff s federal civil rights claims would be barred by
the governing statute of limitations. The statute of
limitations for a § 1983 action is the “state
statute of limitations applicable to personal injury actions
under the law of the state in which the § 1983 claims
arises.” Eidson v. Tenn. Dep't of
Children's Servs., 510 F.3d 631, 634 (6th
Cir. 2007). The limitations period for § 1983 actions
arising in Tennessee is the one-year limitations provisions
found in Tennessee Code Annotated § 28-3-104(a).
Porter v. Brown, 289 Fed.Appx. 114, 116
(6th Cir. 2008).
these reasons, the Court finds that the Plaintiffs complaint
fails the required initial screening. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
The Plaintiff s claims are barred by the doctrine of res
judicata. In the absence of an actionable claim, the
Court is obliged to dismiss the complaint sua
sponte. 28 U.S.C. ...