United States District Court, D. Maryland
RICHARD D. BENNETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Edward Conaway, a Maryland Division of Correction
("DOC") prisoner housed at Western Correctional
Institution, seeks money damages against Tina Stump, Warden
of the Maryland Reception Diagnostic Classification Center
("MRDCC"), and Dr. Dolph Druckman, who works at
MRDCC for the DOC's contractual health care provider,
Wexford Health Sources, Inc. Conaway alleges that he was
allowed to suffer with a urinary tract infection between
March 16, 2017 and June 7, 2017, when a diagnosis was made by
a physician at an "outside" hospital. ECF No. 1, p.
1. In addition to the Complaint and supplemental
"Motion", Conaway submitted a Motion seeking leave
to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(1) (ECF 3), which will be granted.
Conaway is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis, this
Court must initially examine his Complaint to determine
whether it states a claim. See 28 U.S.C. §
l9I5(e)(2)(B)(ii). The standard for such review is the same
as the standard for reviewing a motion to dismiss pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See De
'Lonta v. Angelone, 330 F.3d 630, 633 (4th Cir.
2003). Accordingly, Conaway"s Complaint "must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Ail. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). "Threadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, [will] not suffice."' Id.
(citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
this Court must allow liberal construction of a Complaint
filed by a self-represented litigant, see Ehckson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)), this Court is further
obliged by 28 U.S.C. §1915A to screen and dismiss any
prisoner complaint that is frivolous, malicious, or fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted. In deciding
whether a complaint is frivolous "[t]he district court
need not look beyond the complaint's allegations .... It
must, however, hold the pro se complaint to less stringent
standards than pleadings drafted by attorneys and must read
the complaint liberally." White v. White. 886
F.2d 721, 722-723 (4th Cir. 1989). Under the provisions of 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), a case
shall be dismissed at any time if the court determines that-
(A) the allegation of poverty is untrue; or
(B) the action or appeal-
(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted;
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune
from such relief."
allegations against Defendants Stump and Druckman have been
previously adjudicated in this Court. See Conaway v.
Stump, et al. Civil Action No. RDB-17-1191 (D. Md.). On
April 11, 2018, this Court granted summary judgment in favor
of Stump and Druckman, and directed the Clerk to close the
case. Id., ECF Nos. 31 and 32. Where there has been
a final judgment on the merits in a prior suit; an identity
of the cause of action in both the earlier and the later
suit; and an identity of parties or their privies in the two
suits, res judicata is established. See Pension Ben.
Guar. Corp. v. Beverley, 404 F.3d 243, 248 (4th Cir.
2005) (quoting Jams v. S.E.C., 115 F.3d 1173, 1178
(4th Cir. 1997)). The doctrine of res judicata precludes the
assertion of a claim after a judgment on the merits in a
prior suit by the same parties on the same cause of action.
See Meekins v. United Transp. Union, 946 F.2d 1054,
1057 (4th Cir. 1991) (citing Harnett v.
Billman, 800 F.2d 1308, 1312 (4th Cir.
1986)). In addition, ""[n]ot only does res judicata
bar claims that were raised and fully litigated, it prevents
litigation of all grounds for, or defenses to, recovery that
were previously available to the parties, regardless of
whether they were asserted or determined in the prior
proceeding.'" Id. (quoting Peugeot
Motors of America, Inc. v. E. Auto Distrib., Inc., 892
F.2d 355, 359 (4th Cir. 1989). To the extent it was not
raised in the prior suit, the claim raised in the instant
complaint is a claim that was previously available to Conaway
and is barred by res judicata.
Complaint shall be dismissed as frivolous or malicious and
for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (ii).
Conaway is hereby advised that under 28 U.S.C. §1915(g)
he will not be granted in forma pauperis status if he has
"on 3 or more prior occasions, while incarcerated or
detained in any facility, brought an action or appeal in a
court of the United States that was dismissed on the grounds
that it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, unless the prisoner is
under imminent danger of ...