Baker v. Supreme Court of the State of New York, Kings County et al
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER: Plaintiff paid the filing fee two weeks after the filing deadline. The Court vacates its 5 Order and Judgment dismissing the case for failure to pay the filing fee, but dismisses the action under 2 8 U.S.C. § 1915A. Accordingly, plaintiff's 1 complaint is dismissed on the basis of res judicata as frivolous. Furthermore, the Court warns plaintiff that it will not tolerate frivolous litigation and may enter an order barri ng the acceptance of any future complaints without first obtaining leave of the Court. Although plaintiff paid the filing fee for this case, the Court certifies pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (a)(3) that any appeal from this Order would not b e taken in good faith, and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for the purpose of an appeal should plaintiff seek such status. SO ORDERED by Judge Brian M. Cogan, on 1/29/2013. (Copy of this Order, along with the attached copies of all unpublished decisions cited herein, mailed by Chambers to pro se Plaintiff.) Forwarded for Judgment. (Latka-Mucha, Wieslawa)
IN CLE'FIK'S OFFICE
U.S. DISTRICT COURT E.D.N.Y.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
* JAN2g2013 *
DECISION AND ORDER
- againstTHE SUPREME COURT FOR THE STATE
OF NEW YORK, KINGS COUNTY;
mSTICE[S] THE HONORABLE
SHILLINGFORD; THE HONORABLE
CYRULNIK; THE HONORABLE FOLEY;
THE HONORABLE MURPHY;
THE HONORABLE MONDO, THE
HONORABLE WALSH; CALTON NEWTON,
WARDEN RIKERS ISLAND, I
12 Civ. 5757 (BMC)(LB)
COGAN, District Judge.
Plaintiff pro se, currently incarcerated at Rikers Island, filed this action seeking
declaratory and injunctive relief against the Supreme Court of the State of New York, several
state court judges, and the warden of Rikers Island. 2 Plaintiff paid the filing fee two weeks after
the filing deadline. The Court vacates its Order and Judgment dismissing the case for failure to
pay the filing fee, but dismisses the action under 28 U.S.C. §19l5A.
1 Except for Calton Newton, Warden Rikers Island, plaintiff has named the exact same defendants as in his previous
action, Baker v. The Supreme Court of the State of New York Kings Countv, 12-CV-4750 (BMC) (filed Sept. 21,
2012, dismissed Oct. 4, 2012).
2 Plaintiff is a frequent pro se litigant in this Court. See Baker v. New York State Executives, No. 12 Civ. 1090
(E.D.N.Y. June 20,2012); Baker v. Lawrence Noveltv Co .. Inc.,_No. II Civ. 2806 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 12,2011); Baker
v. Pataki et aI., No. 06 Civ. 06138 (E.D.N.Y Feb. 20, 2007). He is also a frequent litigant in New York state courts.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, a court must screen a civil complaint brought by a
prisoner against a governmental entity or its agents and dismiss the complaint if it is "frivolous,
malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a) &
(b)(l). See Abbas v. Dixon, 480 F.3d 636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007) (discussing sua sponte standard of
review under §1915A for prisoners). The complaint may be dismissed in whole or in part, even
if plaintiff pays the filing fee, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. See Carr v. Dvorin, 171 F.3d 115, 116
(2d Cir. 1999).
In reviewing plaintiff s complaint, the Court is mindful that the submissions of a pro se
litigant must be construed liberally and interpreted "to raise the strongest arguments that they
suggest." Triestman v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006).
This is now the fourth time that plaintiff has attempted to get this Court to intercede in his
ongoing state court criminal cases. See Baker v. New York State Executives and Officers et aI.,
12 Civ. 1090 (BMC) (filed March 3, 2012, motion to dismiss granted June 21, 2012); Baker v.
Supreme Court for the State of New York, Kings County et aI., 12 Civ. 4750 (BMC) (filed
September 21, 2012, dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A on Oct. 4, 2012}; Baker v. Walsh et aI.,
12 Civ. 5337 (BMC) (petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed Oct. 22, 2012). Familiarity with
the dismissal orders entered in those actions is assumed.
Plaintiff continues to contest the ownership of property located at 140 Metropolitan
Avenue, and to allege that the judge presiding over his related state court criminal proceedings
improperly detained plaintiff, ordered a psychiatric evaluation, and used "bullpen therapy" to
coerce him into accepting a disadvantageous plea deal.
There are limits as to how often the Court can be asked to review the same allegations
against the same parties. That limitation is manifested in the doctrine of res judicata. See
Salahuddin v. Jones, 992 F. 2d 447, 449 (2d Cir. 1993). Under the doctrine of res judicata, or
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 that action." St. Pierre v.
Dyer, 208 F.3d 394, 399 (2d Cir. 2000) (quoting Federated Dep't Stores, Inc. v. Moitie. 452 U.S.
394,398,101 S.Ct. 2424, 2428 (1981»; see also EDP Med. Computer Sys. v. United States, 480
F.3d 621, 624 (2d Cir. 2007). "[O]nce a final judgment has been entered on the merits ofa case,
that judgment will bar any subsequent litigation by the same parties or those in privity with them
concerning the transaction, or series of connected transactions, out of which the first action
arose." Cieszkowska v. Gray Line New York, 295 F.3d 204, 205 (2d Cir. 2002) (quoting
Maharaj v. Bankamerica Com., 128 F.3d 94, 97 (2d Cir. 1997». The doctrine of res judicata
applies to pro se litigants. Yeiser v. GMAC Mortgage Com., 535 F. Supp. 2d 413, 426
(S.D.N.Y. 2008) (citing Pena v. Travis, No. 01-CV-8534, 2002 WL 31886175, at *8 (S.D.N.Y.
Dec. 27, 2008».
Here, plaintiff has alleged the same nucleus of facts in the instant case as he alleged in
two previous actions, Baker v. New York State Executives and Officers et al.. 12 Civ. 1090
(BMC), Baker v. Supreme Court for the State of New York, Kings County et al., 12 Civ. 4750
(BMC). Because nothing in the complaint suggests a new claim, this action is barred by the
doctrine of res judicata.
Even if this action were not barred by the doctrine of res judicata, the Court would
abstain from entertaining plaintiffs complaint under Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 91 S. Ct.
746 (1971), and dismiss it under the judicial and Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity
Accordingly, plaintiffs complaint is dismissed on the basis of res judicata as frivolous.
28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Furthermore, the Court warns plaintiff that it will not tolerate frivolous
litigation and may enter an order barring the acceptance of any future complaints without first
obtaining leave of the Court. 28 U.S.C. § 1651; see e.g .. Inre Martin-Trigona, 9 F.3d 226, 22729 (2d Cir. 1993) (discussing various sanctions courts may impose upon vexatious litigants).
Although plaintiff paid the filing fee for this case, the Court certifies pursuant to 28
U.S.c. § 1915 (a)(3) that any appeal from this Order would not be taken in good faith, and
therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for the purpose of an appeal should plaintiff seek
such status. See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 444-45,82 S. Ct. 917, 92021 (1962).
/S/ Judge Brian M. Cogan
Dated: Brooklyn, New York
January 29, 2013
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