Morrison v. Lynn-Kopp et al
ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 14 in full. Any appeal of this decision will not be taken in good faith. Signed by Judge Brian Morris on 4/19/2018. Mailed to Morrison (TAG)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
JAMES JEROME MORRISON, JR.,
ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND
CARISSA LYNN-KOPP, SUSAN F.
CARROLL, KURT KRUEGER,
SAMM COX, CHRISTOPHER E.
QUIGLEY, CIANA DALE, KARA
RICHARDSON, BRAD NEWMAN,
MARK VUCUROVICH, MICHAEL
ANDERSON, and WALTER M.
Plaintiff James Jerome Morrison, Jr. filed a Complaint presenting allegations
regarding Defendants’ actions that occurred during: (1) criminal proceedings
against Morrison; and (2) hearings conducted by the Montana Department of
Family Services relative to his parental rights of his daughter. (Doc. 2 at 8.)
Morrison alleges that Defendants used false, fabricated, coerced, and erroneous
information against him in each referenced proceeding. Id.
United States Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch entered Findings and
Recommendations in this matter on March 21, 2018. (Doc. 14.) Neither party filed
objections. When a party makes no objections, the Court need not review de novo
the proposed Findings and Recommendations. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 14952 (1986). This Court will review Judge Lynch’s Findings and Recommendations,
however, for clear error. McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Commodore Bus. Mach.,
Inc., 656 F.2d 1309, 1313 (9th Cir. 1981).
The Court stayed Morrison’s allegations and claims regarding his parental
rights proceedings on December 7, 2017, until the state court proceedings were
completed. (Doc. 11 at 4-5.) Morrison’s allegations sought monetary damages. Id.
Morrison filed a Notice regarding completion of his state court proceedings on
March 5, 2018. (Doc. 13.) The Montana Supreme Court dismissed Morrison’s
appeal regarding his parental rights and custody of his daughter on December 28,
2017. Id. at 6. Likewise, the Montana Supreme Court dismissed the appeal
regarding his criminal proceedings on February 14, 2018. Id. at 4.
Judge Lynch determined that any of Morrison’s claims regarding the
termination of his parental rights are barred by res judicata and should be
dismissed. (Doc. 14 at 3.) The doctrine of res judicata provides that a “final
judgment on the merit bars further claims by parties or their privies based on the
same cause of action.” Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Council, Inc. v. Tahoe Reg’l
Planning Agency, 322 F.3d 1064, 1077 (9th Cir. 2003).
Judge Lynch correctly determined that the elements of res judicata are
satisfied in this matter. (Doc. 14 at 4.) Morrison attempts to re-litigate claims that
he asserted, or could have asserted, in his state parental rights case. Id. This case
and Morrison’s state parental rights case share the same subject matter. Id. The
issues presented in both cases remain the same. Id. The capacities of the parties in
both cases remain the same. Id. Finally, the Montana Supreme Court entered a
final judgment on the merits in Morrison’s state parental rights case. Id. Morrison’s
claims regarding his parental rights are barred by res judicata. This matter shall be
The Court has reviewed Judge Lynch’s Findings and Recommendations for
clear error. The Court finds no error in Judge Lynch’s Findings and
Recommendations, and adopts them in full.
IT IS ORDERED that Judge Lynch’s Findings and Recommendations
(Doc. 14), are ADOPTED IN FULL.
IT IS ORDERED that this matter shall be DISMISSED. The Clerk of
Court shall close this matter and enter judgment in favor of Defendants pursuant to
Rule 58 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall have the docket
reflect that the Court certifies pursuant to Rule 24(a)(3)(A) of the Federal Rules of
Appellate Procedure that any appeal of this decision will not be taken in good faith.
No reasonable person could suppose an appeal would have merit. The record
makes plain the instant Complaint lacks arguable substance in law or fact.
DATED this 19th day of April, 2018.
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