Wright v. Harwell
ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE; dismissal of this action constitutes a strike under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g); clerk directed to place a section 1915(g) strike flag on the case. Signed by Honorable Susan O. Hickey on August 24, 2017. (cnn)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
EL DORADO DIVISION
Case No. 1:17-cv-1037
Plaintiff Johnny Wright filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis (“IFP”). The Court has the obligation to screen any
complaint in which an individual has sought leave to proceed IFP. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). On
review, the Court must dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, that is frivolous,
malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from
a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
On June 1, 2017, Plaintiff filed his complaint, alleging that Defendant Scott Harwell did
not investigate a report from a neighbor, Ms. Pumphrey, before arresting him, filed a misleading
and false affidavit to obtain an arrest warrant, and intentionally singled out Plaintiff for malicious
and unethical policing tactics. Plaintiff further alleges Defendant Harwell bore a personal animus
against Plaintiff based on a prior 2006 lawsuit that Plaintiff filed against him, which Plaintiff
identified as Case No. 06-CV-1089. (ECF No. 1, pp. 1-4.)
Plaintiff made the same allegations against Defendant Harwell in Wright v. Hartwell, Case
No. 1:14-cv-1037-SOH. 1 The Court dismissed that case with prejudice on February 13, 2017. In
the prior case, Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal and was given until April 3, 2017, to complete an
Defendant Harwell’s name in the previous case was misspelled as Hartwell.
application to proceed IFP on appeal or pay the filing fee. Plaintiff did neither. Instead, he filed
It is well settled that a court may dismiss a case sua sponte based on the doctrine of res
[I]f a court is on notice that it has previously decided the issue
presented, the court may dismiss the action sua sponte, even though
the defense has not been raised. This result is fully consistent with
the policies underlying res judicata: it is not based solely on the
defendant’s interest in avoiding the burdens of twice defending a
suit, but is also based on the avoidance of unnecessary judicial
Arizona v. California, 530 U.S. 392, 412 (2000) (quoting United States v. Sioux Nation, 448 U.S.
371, 432 (1980)); see also Hanig v. City of Winner, S.D., 527 F.3d 674, 676 (8th Cir. 2008) (“When
the second action seeks redress for the same wrong, res judicata bars relitigation of a claim or an
issue actually litigated or which could have been properly raised and determined in a prior action.”)
(internal quotation marks omitted).
In this case, Plaintiff seeks to relitigate claims against Defendant Harwell that have already
been addressed—and dismissed with prejudice—in a previous case. The doctrine of res judicata
prevents him from doing so. Therefore, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s claims should be and hereby
are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. The dismissal of this action constitutes a “strike” under
28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). The Clerk is directed to place a section 1915(g) strike flag on the case.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 24th day of August, 2017.
/s/ Susan O. Hickey
Susan O. Hickey
United States District Judge
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