United States District Court, D. Alaska
ROBERT S. CROWLEY, Plaintiff,
DR. MICHAEL BOOTHE, DDS, et al., Defendants.
ORDER REGARDING RES JUDICATA
TIMOTHY M. BURGESS, District Judge.
On November 14, 2013, Robert S. Crowley, a self-represented state prisoner, filed a Second Amended Complaint, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Crowley has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. The Defendants have responded and filed a Cross Motion for Summary Judgment, Crowley has replied to the response and has responded to the Cross Motion, and the Defendants have replied to Crowley's response to their Cross Motion. Crowley then filed an "Answer to Defendant(s) Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant(s) Cross Motion for Summary Judgment, " which is not a document to be filed in the course of motion practice in this Court. Thus, Crowley's Answer to Defendants' Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendants' Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment, at Docket 54, must be stricken.
However, the Defendants have now filed a Motion to Accept Late-Filed Brief with a Proposed Motion to Dismiss based upon res judicata, which Crowley opposes. This Order addresses that Motion.
Counsel for the Defendants has declared, under penalty of perjury that, "[i]n the course of [her] research on Pacer in regard to this case, [she] noticed that Mr. Crowley had several other cases in the federal court dockets... [and] that Crowley had earlier filed a complaint alleging violation of his right to medical care that contained the same claims as the claims in this case.... Crowley v. Schmidt, Daigle, Boothe and Driver, Case No. 3:13-cv-0021-RRB ( Crowley I '), " which case was dismissed before service upon the Defendants. Further, as the Defendants point out, Crowley answered "no" to the question "Have you begun other lawsuits in state or federal court dealing with the same facts involved in this action, or otherwise relating to your imprisonment?"
Thus, although the Court previously provided that "[d]ispositive motions shall be filed no later than September 22, 2014, " and that "the Court intends to enforce the deadlines set forth in this Order, and should plan their litigation activities accordingly, " because Crowley was not truthful about his previous case, the Court will allow the late-filed Motion to Dismiss.
Further, "[a]s a general matter, a court may, sua sponte, dismiss a case on preclusion grounds where the records of that court show that a previous action covering the same subject matter and parties had been dismissed.'...However, [w]here no judicial resources have been spent on the resolution of a question, trial courts must be cautious about raising a preclusion bar sua sponte, thereby eroding the principle of party presentation so basic to our system of adjudication.'" Thus, both parties will be heard on this issue. Below are the relevant facts, as presented to the Court in Crowley's two cases.
1. Facts Alleged in Crowley's Current Case ( Crowley II ).
In his Second Amended Complaint in the current case, Crowley II, Crowley alleges as follows:
In December of 2009 I believe I had been seen by Dr. Boothe at Anchorage Correctional Complex West, because I was having pain issues with my upper teeth which at that time I only had about 5 remaining teeth left in the upper portion of my mouth, so Dr. Boothe tells me that I have a bad decaying problem so I ask him about getting dentures, to which he answers how long I have left in jail so I told him I was not sure because I was still in Pretrial. He does a real quick job of drilling and filling the decay out of my teeth and sends me on my way. On or about three months later the fillings had already fallen out and left big gaping holes in my teeth, to which automatically as soon as I bit down on some food it broke one of my teeth. This leaves me in great pain and I put in a request to see the dentist and he pulls the tooth out because that is the only alternative at that point, at this time I again ask Dr. Boothe to request for dentures and he tells me he would.... Dr. Boothe has shown Deliberate Indifference and negligence of Medical Care by delaying significant attention to my serious needs...
In June of 2012 I get sentenced and sent to CO, my teeth are worn to nothing and go see the dentist Dr.Ward and he sees how badly I am in of need of dentures. I continue to suffer with almost two teeth remaining in my mouth just in order to eat still and finally I cannot tolerate it no longer so I have them extracted because they are on the nerves and in serious pain. When I first seen Dr. Ward for an evaluation I asked him to request dentures for me he tells me he will, at the time he pulls them I ask what the reply was from Ak. and he says they denied me dentures. On 8-28-12 I write out a grievance and explain my situation and ask for dentures again, I explain that I only have 1 and a half teeth remaining and I cannot eat.... [S]ee attached Prisoner Grievence #CHCD-588 and also Grievence Response. An investigation into your allegations has been conducted. AKDOC has denied your approval for dentures because the risk outweigh the benefits. Dr. Ward will extract your teeth as needed basis only. Which makes no sense because I no longer had any teeth on top.
I received a memorandum from Laura Brooks/State of Alaska Medical Advisory Committee stating I have reviewed your original grievance, all your written request for medical care, and the accompanying medical documents. The relief you request is: "I would like a dental approval for dentures please?" FINDINGS: Review of your record reveals that your treatment plan is in place and you have been evaluated by a dentist using ordinary skill and care. A request for dentures was submitted to the Medical Advisory Committee in August 2012. This request was denied based on the indication that no treatment was recommended due to the facts that the risk outweighed the benefits.... You are receiving essential health care per policy 807.02 Grievance Denied....
I have been suffering for the last year without having teeth in my mouth in order to eat the proper foods, literally have to swallow my food whole at times which causes me to have digestive problems and causes stomach pain, also I cannot talk properly my words come out wrong so not having teeth has severely affected my speech.
2. Facts Alleged in Crowley's Previous Case ( Crowley I ).
The Court takes judicial notice that Crowley's nearly identical previous case in this Court, Crowley v. Schmidt, Boothe, Daigle, and Driver, 3:13-cv-00021-RRB, was dismissed with prejudice. In ...