United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. O'TOOLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
March 28, 2017, Plaintiff Abdul-Malik Martinez, an inmate now
in custody at MCI Cedar Junction, filed a pro se
complaint alleging the violation of his civil rights on
August 28, 2013, while he was held at the Barnstable County
House of Correction. Martinez seeks “$5.5 million
dollars” from twelve Barnstable County correctional
officers and officials. Attached to his complaint are
numerous documents including copies of state court documents.
Martinez also filed an application to proceed without
prepayment of fees and a motion for appointment of counsel.
2015, Martinez brought the same complaint against the same
parties in the Barnstable Superior Court and on December 9,
2016, Justice Nickerson granted the defendants' motion
for summary judgment on all claims. See Martinez v.
Cummings, et al., No. 1572CV00240 (Mass. Sup. Ct. Dec. 9,
extent Martinez seeks to have this court review the state
court judgment, this court is without jurisdiction to do so
pursuant to the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. The
Rooker-Feldman doctrine is a distillation of two
Supreme Court decisions: Rooker v. Fidelity Trust
Co., 263 U.S. 413 (1923) and District of Columbia
Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462 (1983). The
doctrine precludes a federal action if the relief requested
in that action would effectively reverse a state court
decision or void its holding or if the plaintiff's claims
are “inextricably intertwined” with the state
court's decision. See Geiger v. Foley Hoag LLP
Retirement Plan, 521 F.3d 60, 65 (1st Cir. 2008)
(stating that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, “in
broad terms, deprives the district court of subject matter
jurisdiction over a final judgment of a state court”);
Puerto Ricans for Puerto Rico Party v. Dalmau, 544
F.3d 58, 68 (1st Cir. 2008) (the doctrine “bars parties
who lost in state court from ‘seeking review and
rejection of that judgment' in federal court.'
”) quoting Exxon Mobile Corp. v. Saudi Basic Indus.
Corp., 544 U.S. 280, 291 (2005); see also Maher v.
GSI Lumonics, Inc., 433 F.3d 123, 126 (1st Cir. 2005)
(“Under the federal law of res judicata, a final
judgment on the merits of an action precludes the parties
from relitigating claims that were raised or could have been
raised in that action.”) quoting, Porn v. Nat'l
Grange Mut. Ins. Co., 93 F.3d 31, 34 (1st Cir. 1996).
Martinez' federal and state claims, having been fully and
fairly litigated in state court, is barred under the doctrine
of res judicata, also known as claim preclusion.
This federal court has an obligation to give full faith and
credit to the state court judgment. “Pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1738, the Full Faith and Credit Act, federal
courts must ‘give the same preclusive effect to a
state-court judgment as another court of the State would
give.'” Noone v. Town of Palmer, C.A. No.
12-30026-MAP, 2 F.Supp.3d 1, 10 (D. Mass., 2014) (citations
and quotations omitted). The purposes of claim preclusion are
to “protect ‘against the expense and vexation
attending multiple lawsuits, conserv[e] judicial resources,
and foste[r] reliance on judicial action by minimizing the
possibility of inconsistent decisions.'” Taylor
v. Sturgell, 553 U.S. 880 (2008) (quoting Montana v.
United States, 440 U.S. 147, 153-54 (1979));
Pasterczyk v. Fair, 819 F.2d 12, 13 (1st Cir.
1987)(res judicata is applicable in a section 1983
federal claim that was first brought in a state court).
even if this action was not barred by claim preclusion and
the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, it would be barred by
Massachusetts's three-year statute of limitations
(M.G.L.A. Chapter 260, § 2A) on personal injury actions,
which is applicable to civil rights complaints submitted to
this court under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Owens v.
Okure, 488 U.S. 235 (1989); Nieves v.
McSweeney, 241 F.3d 46, 51 (1st Cir. 2001). Here,
plaintiff's claims are clearly time barred since his
cause of action arose on August 28, 2013, and his complaint
submitted to this court more 43 months later, on March 28,
on the foregoing, it is hereby ordered that:
action is DISMISSED because the Court lacks subject-matter
Clerk shall terminate the pending motions and enter a
separate order of dismissal.
The Court takes judicial notice of the
state court record. United States ex rel. Winkelman v.
CVS Caremark Corp., 827 F.3d 201, 208 (1st Cir. 2016) (A
court may consider matters of public record and facts
susceptible to judicial notice.”); see also Boateng
v. InterAmerican Univ., Inc., 210 F.3d 56, 60 (1st Cir.
2000) (“a court ordinarily may ...