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Domai v. Shane

United States District Court, D. Utah

July 5, 2017

GUY M. DOMAI, Plaintiff,
v.
JEFF SHANE, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

          Ted Stewart United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court for review of Plaintiff's pro se Complaint. Plaintiff filed his Complaint after receiving permission to proceed in forma pauperis. Under the in forma pauperis statute, the Court shall, at any time, sua sponte dismiss a case if the Court determines the complaint is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.[1]

         “Dismissal of a pro se complaint for failure to state a claim is proper only where it is obvious that the plaintiff cannot prevail on the facts he has alleged and it would be futile to give him an opportunity to amend.”[2] When reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint the Court “presumes all of plaintiff's factual allegations are true and construes them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.”[3] Because Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court must construe his pleadings liberally and hold them to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.[4] However, “[t]he broad reading of the plaintiff's complaint does not relieve [him] of the burden of alleging sufficient facts on which a recognized legal claim could be based.”[5]

         Here, Plaintiff brings a claim under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) against Jeff Shane, an employee of American Express, his former employer. Plaintiff has brought similar claims in this Court in two previous cases.[6] In both of those cases, Plaintiff named Mr. Shane as a Defendant.[7] Both previous cases were dismissed on the merits.

         Plaintiff's claims here are barred by the doctrine of claim preclusion. “Under claim preclusion, a final judgment on the merits of an action precludes the parties or their privies from relitigating issues that were or could have been raised in the prior action.”[8] “Claim preclusion requires: (1) a judgment on the merits in the earlier action; (2) identity of the parties or their privies in both suits; and (3) identity of the cause of action in both suits.”[9]

         Here, the two prior suits resulted in a judgment on the merits. Case No. 2:13-CV-567 TS was dismissed for failure to prosecute[10] and Case No. 2:15-CV-542 CW was dismissed on statute of limitations grounds.[11] Such dismissals operate as a final judgment on the merits.[12] The identity of the parties is the same in both this suit and the previous suits. Finally, the cause of action-violation of FMLA-is the same. Therefore, Plaintiffs action is barred by claim preclusion and must be dismissed.

         It is therefore ORDERED that Plaintiffs Complaint is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

---------

Notes:

[1] See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i-ii).

[2] Perkins v. Kan. Dep't of Corrs., 165 F.3d 803, 806 (10th Cir. 1999).

[3] Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1109 (10th Cir. 1991).

[4] Id. at 1110.


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