Holbrook #767925 v. Pols et al
OPINION; signed by Judge Gordon J. Quist (Judge Gordon J. Quist, jmt)
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
CHARLES JUDSON HOLBROOK,
Case No. 1:16-cv-1151
Honorable Gordon J. Quist
TIMOTHY POLS et al.,
This is a civil rights action brought by a state prisoner pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff paid the entire civil action filing fee. Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, PUB. L. NO.
104-134, 110 STAT. 1321 (1996), the Court is required to dismiss any prisoner action brought under
federal law if the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
The Court must read Plaintiff’s pro se complaint indulgently, see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519,
520 (1972), and accept Plaintiff’s allegations as true, unless they are clearly irrational or wholly
incredible. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992). Applying these standards, Plaintiff’s
action will be dismissed as frivolous.
Plaintiff, Charles Judson Holbrook, a restricted and frequent filer in this Court,
presently is incarcerated at the Alger Correctional Facility. He sues City of Wyoming Police Officer
Timothy Pols, the City of Wyoming Police Department, and the City of Wyoming.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Pols led a SWAT team in a raid of Plaintiff’s home
on July 31, 2009. He asserts that Defendants intended to shoot him to settle a grudge, but they
“screwed up” because Plaintiff was not at home. (Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.27.) Plaintiff
complains that Defendants spent three hours rummaging through his home without finding any
evidence, but that Defendants nevertheless loaded a large truck with Plaintiff’s property and drove
Plaintiff contends that Defendants committed criminal trespass and violated his rights
under the Fifth Amendment. He seeks to recover his property and to shut down the Wyoming Police
An action may be dismissed as frivolous if “it lacks an arguable basis either in law
or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Brown v. Bargery, 207 F.3d 863, 866
(2000); Lawler v. Marshall, 898 F.2d 1196, 1198 (6th Cir. 1990). Claims that lack an arguable or
rational basis in law include claims for which the defendants are clearly entitled to immunity and
claims of infringement of a legal interest which clearly does not exist; claims that lack an arguable
or rational basis in fact describe fantastic or delusional scenarios. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327-28;
Lawler, 898 F.2d at 1199.
Plaintiff’s complaint is legally frivolous. Plaintiff initially filed the instant action in
the Southern District of Ohio, and the case was transferred to this Court. Plaintiff’s decision to file
in the Southern District of Ohio no doubt was motivated by his prior lack of success in this Court.
In Holbrook v. Pols et al., No. 2:15-cv-170 (W.D. Mich.), Plaintiff brought a substantively identical
complaint. The Court dismissed that action on February 9, 2016, because Plaintiff’s claims were
barred by the statute of limitations. Id. (Op. & Jud. Feb. 9, 2016).
Plaintiff’s complaint is merely an attempt to relitigate an action that was previously
decided against him. The doctrine of claim preclusion, sometimes referred to as res judicata,
provides that if an action results in a judgment on the merits, that judgment operates as an absolute
bar to any subsequent action on the same cause between the same parties or their privies, with
respect to every matter that was actually litigated in the first case, as well as every ground of
recovery that might have been presented. Black v. Ryder/P.I.E. Nationwide, Inc., 15 F.3d 573, 582
(6th Cir. 1994); see Kremer v. Chemical Const. Corp., 456 U.S. 461, 467 n.6 (1982); see also Bowen
v. Gundy, No. 96-2327, 1997 WL 778505, at * 1 (6th Cir. Dec. 8, 1997). Claim preclusion operates
to relieve parties of the cost and vexation of multiple lawsuits, conserve judicial resources, and by
preventing inconsistent decisions, encourage reliance on adjudication. Allen v. McCurry, 449 U.S.
90, 94 ( 1980). In order to apply the doctrine of claim preclusion, the court must find that (1) the
previous lawsuit ended in a final judgment on the merits; (2) the previous lawsuit was between the
same parties or their privies; and (3) the previous lawsuit involved the same claim or cause of action
as the present case. Allen, 449 U.S. at 94; accord Federated Dept Stores, Inc. v. Moitie, 452 U.S.
394, 398 (1981).
Here, Plaintiff raised the identical issues and sued the identical parties. In addition,
the action was dismissed for failure to state a claim because the issues were barred by the statute of
limitations. That dismissal was a final judgment on the merits. As a consequence, the instant action
is barred by the doctrine of res judicata. An action that is barred by res judicata is legally frivolous.
See, e.g., Taylor v. Reynolds, 22 F. App’x 537, 538 (6th Cir. 2001); Hill v. Elting, 9 F. App’x 321
(6th Cir. 2001).
Having conducted the review required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the Court
determines that Plaintiff’s action will be dismissed for failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
The Court must next decide whether an appeal of this action would be in good faith
within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3). See McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 611
(6th Cir. 1997). For the same reasons that the Court dismisses the action, the Court discerns no
good-faith basis for an appeal. Should Plaintiff appeal this decision, the Court will assess the
$505.00 appellate filing fee pursuant to § 1915(b)(1), see McGore, 114 F.3d at 610-11, unless
Plaintiff is barred from proceeding in forma pauperis, e.g., by the “three-strikes” rule of § 1915(g).
If he is barred, he will be required to pay the $505.00 appellate filing fee in one lump sum.
This is a dismissal as described by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
A Judgment consistent with this Opinion will be entered.
Dated: December 21, 2016
/s/ Gordon J. Quist
GORDON J. QUIST
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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