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Mark Alan Lane v. Federal Bureau of Prisons
July 8, 2011
MARK ALAN LANE, PLAINTIFF,
FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ellen Segal Huvelle United States District Judge
This matter is before the Court on its initial review of the complaint
under the screening provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.*fn1
Plaintiff, a prisoner at the United States Penitentiary in
Lompoc, California, sues the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") under the
Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, for allegedly refusing to amend a 2002
judgment and commitment order contained in his inmate file to include
his grand jury indictment. Plaintiff claims that the alleged
inaccurate record is adversely affecting his custody and seeks
injunctive relief and monetary damages. See Compl. at 3-4. Because the
instant complaint presents a claim that was or could have been raised
in a previous action, the Court will dismiss this action as
Under the principle ofres judicata, a final judgment on the merits in one action "bars any further claim based on the same 'nucleus of facts' . . . ." Page v. United States, 729 F.2d 818, 820 (D.C. Cir. 1984) (quoting Expert Elec., Inc. v. Levine, 554 F.2d 1227, 1234 (D.C. Cir. 1977)); see Crowder v. Bierman, Geesing, and Ward LLC, 713 F. Supp. 2d 6, 10 (D.D.C. 2010) ("Under the doctrine of res judicata, or claim preclusion, a subsequent lawsuit will be barred if there has been prior litigation (1) involving the same claims or cause of action, (2) between the same parties or their privies, and (3) there has been a final, valid judgment on the merits, (4) by a court of competent jurisdiction.") (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). Res judicata bars the relitigation "of issues that were or could have been raised in [the prior] action." Drake v. FAA, 291 F.3d 59 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (emphasis in original) (quoting Allen v. McCurry, 449 U.S. 90, 94 (1980)); see I.A.M. Nat'l Pension Fund v. Indus. Gear Mfg. Co., 723 F.2d 944, 949 (D.C. Cir. 1983) (noting that res judicata "forecloses all that which might have been litigated previously").
This Court previously adjudicated the merits of plaintiff's claim
against BOP arising from BOP's maintenance of plaintiff's presentence
investigation report contained in his inmate file. See Lane v. Fed.
Bureau of Prisons, Civ. No. 08-1269 (RJL) (D.D.C. June 9, 2009) (Mem.
Op.) [Dkt. # 26] (Lane I) (finding BOP's inmate records to be exempt
from the Privacy Act's accuracy, amendment, and damages provisions),
aff'd No. 09-5228 (D.C. Cir. Jan. 7, 2010) [Dkt. # 36]. Because
plaintiff could have included in the prior action the current claim
arising from BOP's maintenance of the judgment and commitment order
contained in his inmate file, he
is foreclosed from litigating this claim in a new action.*fn3
Therefore, the case will be dismissed. See Walker v. Seldman,
471 F. Supp. 2d 106, 114 n.12 (D.D.C. 2007) ("While it is true that
res judicata is an affirmative defense, courts may dismiss sua sponte
when they are on notice that a claim has been previously decided
because of the policy interest in avoiding 'unnecessary judicial
waste.' ") (quoting Arizona v. California, 530 U.S. 392, 412 ...
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