United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
DAVID A. BARDES, individually, as taxpayer, Plaintiff,
THE U.S. COURTS, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, COUNTY OF CHARLESTON, CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS, LLC, JOHN AND JANE DOE, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER
REIDINGER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER is before the Court for a sua sponte
review of the Plaintiff's Complaint. Also pending before
the Court are the Plaintiff's “Objections and
Motion to Disqualify” [Doc. 7]; the Motions to Dismiss
filed by the Defendants State of South Carolina, County of
Charleston, and Correct Care Solutions, LLC [Docs. 10, 15];
the Plaintiff's “Objections and Response”
[Doc. 18] to the Defendants' Motions to Dismiss; the
United States' Motion to Dismiss [Doc. 21]; and the
Plaintiff's “Objections and Motions in Opposition
to Federal Government's Edict” [Doc. 23]. For the
reasons stated below, this action will be dismissed.
Plaintiff brings this action against the United States
Courts, the United States of America, the State of South
Carolina, the County of Charleston, Correct Care Solutions,
LLC, and John and Jane Doe pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§
1983 and § 1985, seeking damages for injuries he
allegedly sustained as a result of “hypothermic
torture” that he claims occurred while he was being
held as a detainee in the Charleston County Detention Center
in Charleston, South Carolina. [Doc. 1]. The Plaintiff,
acknowledging that he has filed several lawsuits regarding
this matter in the past, incorporates the allegations of his
dismissed lawsuits into the present action and
“claim[s] every legal argument ever made, or could ever
be made, and all case law in the record, in [his]
favor.” [Id. at 3].
STANDARD OF REVIEW
the Plaintiff has paid the $400 fee associated with the
filing of this action, the statutory screening procedure
authorized under the in forma pauperis statute, 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), is not applicable. Nevertheless,
the Court has inherent authority to dismiss a frivolous
complaint sua sponte. See Ross v. Baron, 493 F.
App'x 405, 406 (4th Cir. 2012) (noting that
“frivolous complaints are subject to dismissal pursuant
to the inherent authority of the court, even when the filing
fee has been paid”) (citing Mallard v. United
States Dist. Ct., 490 U.S. 296, 307-08 (1989)).
complaint is deemed frivolous “where it lacks an
arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke
v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Adams v.
Rice, 40 F.3d 72, 75 (4th Cir. 1994) (“Legally
frivolous claims are based on an ‘indisputedly
meritless legal theory' and including ‘claims of
infringement of a legal interest which clearly does not
exist.'”) (citation omitted).
Plaintiff's Action is Frivolous
Plaintiff has previously filed at least four separate federal
civil actions based on the same allegations which form the
basis of the Plaintiff's present suit. See Bardes v.
Margera, No. 2:08-cv-00487-PMD (D.S.C.); Bardes v.
South Carolina, No. 2:10-cv-00559-PMD (D.S.C.);
Bardes v. South Carolina, No. 1:11-cv-00999-CCE-LPA
(M.D. N.C. ); and Bardes v. Auld, No.
1:15-cv-000-214-MR-DLH (W.D. N.C. ). The Plaintiff's
first action was dismissed on its merits, and the subsequent
actions were dismissed under the principles of res
judicata/collateral estoppel. For the same reasons and based
on the same authority cited in those decisions, the doctrines
of res judicata and collateral estoppel also bar the
Plaintiff from re-litigating those issues in this case.
“The patency of these barriers to this action renders
it legally frivolous.” Bardes v. South
Carolina, No. 1:11-cv-00999-CCE-LPA, 2013 WL 3864405, at
*2 (M.D. N.C. July 24, 2013).
light of the Plaintiff's decision to prosecute this
matter himself without the assistance of an attorney, the
Court will further explain the basis of this ruling. The
Plaintiff originally filed his claim in the District of South
Carolina. That claim was dismissed on the merits by the
Federal Court in South Carolina. If that dismissal was in
error, then the Plaintiff had one avenue to challenge it:
namely, appealing to the United States Court of Appeals for
the Fourth Circuit. Even if that original dismissal was
grossly in error (which the Plaintiff obviously feels it
was), that does not give the Plaintiff the option of
re-filing that suit in another district or recasting the suit
as a claim against the participants in an earlier suit.
judgment is exactly that: final. Bringing this claim now for
the fifth time does not make that first judgment any less
final. This Court has the legal duty to abide by that first
judgment, even if this Court were to believe that it was in
error or represented a miscarriage of justice. The only
option that the Plaintiff may possibly have is to have the
South Carolina judgment set aside - but that can be done only
by the court in the District of South Carolina. This Court,
sitting in the Western District of North Carolina, cannot set
aside a judgment of the District of South Carolina. This
Court simply does not have jurisdiction to do so.
reasons stated herein, the Court concludes that the
Plaintiff's Complaint is frivolous and therefore subject
to dismissal with prejudice.
Plaintiff's Request ...