Carter v. Randstad US, L.P. et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER Signed by the Honorable Robert M. Dow, Jr. on 4/7/2017. Mailed notice(cdh, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
THOMAS JOHN CARTER,
J.P. MORGAN CHASE BANK and
U.S. SECURITY ASSOCIATES,
Case No. 16-cv-9732
Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Pro se Plaintiff Thomas James Carter filed an eleven count complaint against Defendants
J.P. Morgan Chase Bank and U.S. Security Associates alleging employment discrimination,
disability discrimination, violations of the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment
Rights Act of 1994 (“USERRA”), and numerous other federal rights violations. Currently before
the Court are Defendants’ motion to dismiss  and Plaintiff’s motions for a preliminary
injunction  and . For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants Defendants’ motion to
dismiss  and denies as moot Plaintiff’s motions  and . A final judgment will be
entered and the case will be closed.
On October 14, 2016, Plaintiff filed a pro se complaint against Defendant J.P. Morgan
Chase Bank, Defendant U.S. Security Associates, and former Defendant Randstad US, L.P.
Plaintiff alleges that on April 24, 2014, he attempted to enter the Chase Facility in Elk Grove
Village, Illinois to interview for a position as a Service Delivery Manager. Plaintiff contends
that when a security guard requested identification, he offered an U.S. military identification
card. However, according to Plaintiff, he was informed that this was not an acceptable form of
identification and was refused entry to the building. Plaintiff asks the Court to direct Defendant
J.P. Morgan Chase Bank to hire Plaintiff as a contractor with subcontractor former Defendant
Randstad US, L.P., to direct Defendant U.S. Security Associates to expunge the “false report,”
and to grant Plaintiff “appropriate injunctive relief, lost wages, liquidated/double damages, front
pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, prejudgment interest, post-judgment interest and
costs, including reasonable legal Pro Se fees and expert witness fees.”
Plaintiff acknowledges in his complaint that he has already filed two previously lawsuits
based on this set of facts. Plaintiff’s first lawsuit alleged violations of USERRA and the
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, “document fraud” and conspiracy, age
discrimination, and retaliation based on the same set of facts. See Carter v. J.P. Morgan Chase,
N.A., 2015 WL 8989003, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 16, 2015) (“On April 24, 2014, Thomas Carter, a
retired U.S. Army captain, went to a J.P. Morgan Chase facility in Elk Grove Village, Illinois for
an interview with a Chase subcontractor. He was denied entry by two security officers[.] * * *
Mr. Carter ultimately got his interview, but he did not get the job. He says that a representative
of the contractor attributed this to his interaction with the security officers.”). On December 16,
2015, Judge Kennelly dismissed Plaintiff’s first lawsuit for failure to state a claim. Id. Plaintiff
appealed, and the Seventh Circuit affirmed. Carter v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 650 F.
App’x 896, 897 (7th Cir. 2016). On June 29, 2016, Plaintiff brought yet another lawsuit arising
out of the same set of facts. See Carter v. J.P. Morgan Chase, N.A., No. 16-cv-6818, (Sept. 27,
2016) (“On April 24, 2014, plaintiff went to a J.P. Morgan Chase Bank in Elk Gove Village,
Illinois for a job interview with a Chase subcontractor. The building manager and a U.S.
Security Associates security guard denied plaintiff entry to the building[.] * * * As a result of
this incident, plaintiff alleges employment discrimination, conspiracy, and numerous federal
rights violations.”). Judge Gettleman dismissed Plaintiff’s second lawsuit with prejudice as
barred by res judicata, citing Plaintiff’s first lawsuit. Id. Judge Gettleman also denied Plaintiff’s
motion for reconsideration.
In the case at bar, the Defendants filed a motion to dismiss based on res judicata, which
is currently before the Court.
To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief
can be granted, the complaint first must comply with Rule 8(a) by providing “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2), such
that the defendant is given “fair notice of what the * * * claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355
U.S. 41, 47 (1957)) (alteration in original). Second, the factual allegations in the complaint must
be sufficient to raise the possibility of relief above the “speculative level.”
Concentra Health Servs., Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555). “A pleading that offers ‘labels and conclusions’ or a ‘formulaic recitation of the elements
of a cause of action will not do.’” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Dismissal for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) is proper
“when the allegations in a complaint, however true, could not raise a claim of entitlement to
relief.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 558. In reviewing a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6),
the Court accepts as true all of Plaintiff's well-pleaded factual allegations and draws all
reasonable inferences in Plaintiff's favor. Killingsworth v. HSBC Bank Nevada, N.A., 507 F.3d
614, 618 (7th Cir. 2007).
Although res judicata is an affirmative defense typically raised in an answer, where an
affirmative defense is disclosed in the complaint, it provides a proper basis for a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion. Muhammad v. Oliver, 547 F.3d 874, 878 (7th Cir. 2008). The Court may take judicial
notice of matters in public record, including court documents, in deciding a motion to dismiss
without converting it to a motion for summary judgment. Henson v. CSC Credit Servs., 29 F.3d
280, 284 (7th Cir. 1994).
Plaintiff’s claims in the current lawsuit are barred by the doctrine of res judicata and the
doctrine of claim splitting.
Three requirements must be met for res judicata to apply:
“(1) identity of the claim, (2) identity of parties * * * and (3) a final judgment on the merits.”
Ross ex rel. Ross v. Bd. of Educ. of Twp. High Sch. Dist. 211, 486 F.3d 279, 283 (7th Cir. 2007).
To the extent that Plaintiff brings claims in the present lawsuit that he previously brought in his
two prior lawsuits, such as his claims of age discrimination and violations of USERRA, there is
an identity of the claim. Additionally, there is an identity of parties, as Defendants J.P. Morgan
Chase Bank and U.S. Security Associates were both defendants in Plaintiff’s prior lawsuits.
Plaintiff argues that his case should not be dismissed because he added a new defendant,
Randstad US, L.P., who was not named as a defendant in his two previous lawsuits. However,
Randstad US, L.P. is no longer party to this suit, as the Court previously dismissed Randstad US,
L.P. with prejudice pursuant to the parties’ joint stipulation of dismissal. [21, 22.] Finally, there
is a final judgment on the merits, as Plaintiff’s two previous lawsuits were dismissed pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), which constitutes a final adjudication on the merits.”
Wade v. Hopper, 993 F.2d 1246, 1252 (7th Cir. 1993).
To the extent that Plaintiff attempts to bring new claims under legal theories that he did
not raise in his previous lawsuits, his claims are barred by the doctrine of claim splitting. Under
the doctrine of claim splitting, a form of res judicata, a party cannot split a cause of action into
separate grounds of recovery and bring successive lawsuits. Nalco Co. v. Chen, 843 F.3d 670,
674 (7th Cir. 2016); Kim v. Sara Lee Bakery Grp., Inc., 412 F. Supp. 2d 929, 941 (N.D. Ill.
2006). Rather, a party must bring in one lawsuit “all legal theories arising out of the same
transaction or series of transactions.” Kim, 412 F. Supp. 2d at 941; see also Wilson v. City of
Chicago, 120 F.3d 681, 686 (7th Cir. 1997) (“Two claims arising from the same set of facts are
one claim for res judicata purposes, and may not be split * * * by making each claim the subject
of a separate suit[.]”). Since all of Plaintiff’s claims in the current lawsuit are based on the exact
same set of facts as his previous two lawsuits—his denial of entry to the Chase Facility in Elk
Grove Village on April 24, 2014—the doctrine of claim splitting bars Plaintiff’s claims.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court grants Defendants’ motion to dismiss  and denies
as moot Plaintiff’s motions  and . A final judgment will be entered and the case will be
Date: April 7, 2017
Robert M. Dow, Jr.
United States District Judge
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