United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
M. Dow, Jr. United States District Judge
se Plaintiff Thomas James Carter filed an eleven count
complaint against Defendants J.P. Morgan Chase Bank and U.S.
Security Associates alleging employment discrimination,
disability discrimination, violations of the Uniform Services
Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994
(“USERRA”), and numerous other federal rights
violations. Currently before the Court are Defendants'
motion to dismiss  and Plaintiff's motions for a
preliminary injunction  and . For the reasons set
forth below, the Court grants Defendants' motion to
dismiss  and denies as moot Plaintiff's motions 
and . A final judgment will be entered and the case will
October 14, 2016, Plaintiff filed a pro se complaint
against Defendant J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, Defendant U.S.
Security Associates, and former Defendant Randstad US, L.P.
Plaintiff alleges that on April 24, 2014, he attempted to
enter the Chase Facility in Elk Grove Village, Illinois to
interview for a position as a Service Delivery Manager.
Plaintiff contends that when a security guard requested
identification, he offered an U.S. military identification
card. However, according to Plaintiff, he was informed that
this was not an acceptable form of identification and was
refused entry to the building. Plaintiff asks the Court to
direct Defendant J.P. Morgan Chase Bank to hire Plaintiff as
a contractor with subcontractor former Defendant Randstad US,
L.P., to direct Defendant U.S. Security Associates to expunge
the “false report, ” and to grant Plaintiff
“appropriate injunctive relief, lost wages,
liquidated/double damages, front pay, compensatory damages,
punitive damages, prejudgment interest, post-judgment
interest and costs, including reasonable legal Pro Se fees
and expert witness fees.”
acknowledges in his complaint that he has already filed two
previously lawsuits based on this set of facts.
Plaintiff's first lawsuit alleged violations of USERRA
and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act,
“document fraud” and conspiracy, age
discrimination, and retaliation based on the same set of
facts. See Carter v. J.P. Morgan Chase, N.A., 2015
WL 8989003, at *1 (N.D. Ill.Dec. 16, 2015) (“On April
24, 2014, Thomas Carter, a retired U.S. Army captain, went to
a J.P. Morgan Chase facility in Elk Grove Village, Illinois
for an interview with a Chase subcontractor. He was denied
entry by two security officers[.] * * * Mr. Carter ultimately
got his interview, but he did not get the job. He says that a
representative of the contractor attributed this to his
interaction with the security officers.”). On December
16, 2015, Judge Kennelly dismissed Plaintiff's first
lawsuit for failure to state a claim. Id. Plaintiff
appealed, and the Seventh Circuit affirmed. Carter v.
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 650 F. App'x 896, 897
(7th Cir. 2016). On June 29, 2016, Plaintiff brought yet
another lawsuit arising out of the same set of facts. See
Carter v. J.P. Morgan Chase, N.A., No. 16-cv-6818,
(Sept. 27, 2016) (“On April 24, 2014, plaintiff went to
a J.P. Morgan Chase Bank in Elk Gove Village, Illinois for a
job interview with a Chase subcontractor. The building
manager and a U.S. Security Associates security guard denied
plaintiff entry to the building[.] * * * As a result of this
incident, plaintiff alleges employment discrimination,
conspiracy, and numerous federal rights violations.”).
Judge Gettleman dismissed Plaintiff's second lawsuit with
prejudice as barred by res judicata, citing
Plaintiff's first lawsuit. Id. Judge Gettleman
also denied Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration.
case at bar, the Defendants filed a motion to dismiss based
on res judicata, which is currently before the
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the complaint
first must comply with Rule 8(a) by providing “a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), such that
the defendant is given “fair notice of what the * * *
claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957))
(alteration in original). Second, the factual allegations in
the complaint must be sufficient to raise the possibility of
relief above the “speculative level.”
E.E.O.C. v. Concentra Health Servs., Inc., 496 F.3d
773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 555). “A pleading that offers ‘labels and
conclusions' or a ‘formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Dismissal for failure to
state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) is proper “when the
allegations in a complaint, however true, could not raise a
claim of entitlement to relief.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 558. In reviewing a motion to dismiss pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6), the Court accepts as true all of
Plaintiff's well-pleaded factual allegations and draws
all reasonable inferences in Plaintiff's favor.
Killingsworth v. HSBC Bank Nevada, N.A., 507 F.3d
614, 618 (7th Cir. 2007).
res judicata is an affirmative defense typically
raised in an answer, where an affirmative defense is
disclosed in the complaint, it provides a proper basis for a
Rule 12(b)(6) motion. Muhammad v. Oliver, 547 F.3d
874, 878 (7th Cir. 2008). The Court may take judicial notice
of matters in public record, including court documents, in
deciding a motion to dismiss without converting it to a
motion for summary judgment. Henson v. CSC Credit
Servs., 29 F.3d 280, 284 (7th Cir. 1994).
claims in the current lawsuit are barred by the doctrine of
res judicata and the doctrine of claim splitting.
Three requirements must be met for res judicata to
apply: “(1) identity of the claim, (2) identity of
parties * * * and (3) a final judgment on the merits.”
Ross ex rel. Ross v. Bd. of Educ. of Twp. High Sch. Dist.
211, 486 F.3d 279, 283 (7th Cir. 2007). To the extent
that Plaintiff brings claims in the present lawsuit that he
previously brought in his two prior lawsuits, such as his
claims of age discrimination and violations of USERRA, there
is an identity of the claim. Additionally, there is an
identity of parties, as Defendants J.P. Morgan Chase Bank and
U.S. Security Associates were both defendants in
Plaintiff's prior lawsuits. Plaintiff argues that his
case should not be dismissed because he added a new
defendant, Randstad US, L.P., who was not named as a
defendant in his two previous lawsuits. However, Randstad US,
L.P. is no longer party to this suit, as the Court previously
dismissed Randstad US, L.P. with prejudice pursuant to the
parties' joint stipulation of dismissal. [21, 22.]
Finally, there is a final judgment on the merits, as
Plaintiff's two previous lawsuits were dismissed pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), which
constitutes a final adjudication on the merits.”
Wade v. Hopper, 993 F.2d 1246, 1252 (7th Cir. 1993).
extent that Plaintiff attempts to bring new claims under
legal theories that he did not raise in his previous
lawsuits, his claims are barred by the doctrine of claim
splitting. Under the doctrine of claim splitting, a form
of res judicata, a party cannot split a cause of
action into separate grounds of recovery and bring successive
lawsuits. Nalco Co. v. Chen, 843 F.3d 670, 674 (7th
Cir. 2016); Kim v. Sara Lee Bakery Grp., Inc., 412
F.Supp.2d 929, 941 (N.D. Ill. 2006). Rather, a party must
bring in one lawsuit “all legal theories arising out of
the same transaction or series of transactions.”
Kim, 412 F.Supp.2d at 941; see also Wilson v.
City of Chicago, 120 F.3d 681, 686 (7th Cir. 1997)
(“Two claims arising from the same set of facts are one
claim for res judicata purposes, and may not be
split * * * by making each claim the subject of a separate
suit[.]”). Since all of Plaintiff s claims in the
current lawsuit are based on the exact same set of facts as
his previous two lawsuits-his denial of entry to the Chase
Facility in Elk Grove Village on April 24, 2014-the doctrine
of claim splitting bars Plaintiffs claims.
foregoing reasons, the Court grants Defendants' motion to
dismiss  and denies as moot Plaintiffs motions  and
. A final ...