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Chatman v. Gold Coast Casino and Corp.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

July 26, 2018

ERIC CHATMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
GOLD COAST CASINO AND CORPORATION, et. al, Defendants. ERIC CHATMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
CEASARS PALACE, et. al, Defendants. ERIC CHATMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
MGM CASINO AND RESORT, et al, Defendants.

          ORDER AND REPORT & RECOMMENDATION APPLICATION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS (ECF NO. 1) AND COMPLAINT (ECF NO. 1-1)

          CAM FERENBACH, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court is Plaintiff Eric Chatman's ("Chatman") three applications to proceed in forma pauperis (2:18-cv-01255, ECF No. 1; 2:18-cv-01256, ECF No. 1; 2:18-cv-01262, ECF No. 1) and complaints (2:18-cv-01255, ECF No. 1-1; 2:18-cv-01256, ECF No. 1-1; 2;18-cv-01262, ECF No. 1-1). For the follovrtng reasons, Chatman's applications to proceed in forma pauperis are granted. However, the Court recommends that Chatman's complaints be dismissed with prejudice.

         DISCUSSION

         Chatman's filings present two questions. First, whether he may proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Second, whether his complaints state a claim upon which the Court may grant relief.

         A. Chatman's Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis is Granted

         A plaintiff may bring a civil action "without prepayment of fees or security therefor" if the plaintiff submits a financial affidavit demonstrating that he is "unable to pay such fees or give security therefor." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). A prisoner who seeks to bring a civil action without prepayment of fees must also submit a "certified copy of the trust fund account statement (or the institutional equivalent) for the prisoner for the 6-month period immediately preceding the filing of the complaint." M § 1915 (a)(2).

         Chatman is currently incarcerated in Salinas, California. (2:18-cv-01255; ECF No. 1); (2:18-cv- 01256; ECF No. 1); (2:18-cv-01262; ECF No. 1). In his application, Chatman states that he has no income or assets. (See 2:18-cv-01256; ECF No. 1 at 1-2). His financial certificate detailing the past six months states his prison account contains no ftinds. (See 2:18-cv-01266; ECF No. 1 at 4). Given these facts, the Court grants Chatman's application to proceed in forma pauperis.

         B. Chatman's Complaint Should be Dismissed with Prejudice

         The Court must review a plaintiffs complaint to determine whether it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on which the Court may grant relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure mandate that a claim must contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief and "a demand for relief sought." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). When a complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, Rule 12(b)(6) permits dismissal of that claim. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).

         Chatman's complaints fail to state a claim on which the Court may grant relief His claims against Caesar's Palace, Mirage and Circus Circus are barred by res judicata. His remaining claims are not actionable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         a. Res judicata bars Chatman from re-litigating this previously decided issue against Caesar's Palace, Mirage, and Circus Circus (2:18-cv-01256, ECF No. 1-1; 2:18-cv-01262, ECF No. 1-1).

         When a court issues a final judgment on a claim, the doctrine of res judicata (claim preclusion) bars litigants from bringing further claims on the same cause of action. Tahoe-Sierra Pres. Counsel Inc. v. Tahoe Reg'l Planning Agency, 322 F.3d 1064, 1077 (9th Cir. 2003). Claim preclusion applies when, in an earlier case, there has been an identity of the claims, a final judgment on the merits, and privity between the parties. Id.

         On Feb. 5, 2018, Chatman filed a claim against Caesars Palace, Circus Circus Hotel & Casino and the Mirage Hotel & Casino, [1] alleging he was kidnapped, robbed, and "attempted [sic] stabbed" at some point between 2004 and 2006, approximately one mile from these properties. (2:18-cv-GG224-RFB-VCF, ECF No. 1-1 at 1).On May 23, 2018, Judge Richard F. Boulware, II accepted and adopted the undersigned Magistrate Judges's Report and Recommendation, ordering Chatman's action be dismissed with prejudice. Chatman v. Ceasars Palace Co., No. 2:18-cv-00224-RFB-VCF, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87098, at *2 (D. Nev. May 23, 2018) (emphasis omitted).

         In the present complaints, Chatman alleges a nearly identical complaint against all three companies, alleging he was robbed on the properties. (2;18-cv-01256, ECF No. 1-1 at 3; 2:18-cv-01262, ECF No. 1-1 at 3). Given that Chatman's complaints rest on the same facts and events that gave rise to his complaint earlier this year, Judge Boulware's final judgement on the merits in case 2:18-cv-00224-RFB-VCF bars Chatman from re-litigating the issue in this case. No amendment would resolve this issue and thus ...


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