United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
J. DINSMORE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss [Dkt. 24], Defendants' Motion
to Transfer Case to the Judicial Officers who Handled the
Related, Earlier-Filed Case [Dkt. 23], and
Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint [Dkt.
33.] On March 6, 2018, District Judge Jane
Magnus-Stinson designated the undersigned Magistrate Judge to
issue a report and recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(B). [Dkt. 48.] For the reasons set
forth below, the Magistrate Judge recommends that
Defendants' motion be GRANTED and
Plaintiff's motion be DENIED.
action, Plaintiff asserts various claims arising out of tax
sale proceedings initiated by Marion County relating to a
property owned by Plaintiff. The factual allegations
surrounding this lawsuit have served as the basis for
multiple pro se lawsuits filed in Indiana state and
federal courts. A brief procedural history serves to put the
current motion to dismiss into perspective.
February 21, 2014, Plaintiff filed a lawsuit in Marion
Superior Court alleging constitutional violations relating to
the intended tax sale of Plaintiff's property for failure
to pay real estate taxes. Defendants removed the case, which
was then docketed in the Southern District of Indiana as
Wayde Coleman v. City of Indianapolis, et. al, Cause
No. 1:14-cv-386-WTL-DML (“Coleman I”).
Plaintiff later amended that complaint to add claims related
to defendants' alleged failure to provide notice of the
sale and respond to his requests for appeal.
Coleman I, the court dismissed most of
Plaintiff's claims for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction based upon Rooker-Feldman doctrine
because his alleged injuries flowed from the state court
judgment that gave Marion County the authority to sell the
property. [Coleman I, Dkt. 65.] Plaintiff then
pursued those claims in state court, which ultimately set
aside the tax deed, finding it void because Marion County had
not provided Coleman with all of the notices due pursuant to
statute before the judgment was obtained. The court dismissed
the remaining claims in Coleman I on defendants'
motion for summary judgment based upon Plaintiff's
failure to demonstrate injury, constitutional or otherwise,
due to his alleged lack of notice of the sale. [Coleman
I, Dkt. 96 at 6.] The court noted, “[T]he fact is
that Coleman's lawsuit was successful and he is once
again the owner of record; thus, he is receiving the benefit
of any work that he has done on the Property.”
Plaintiff regained ownership of the property, he filed a
complaint for damages in Marion Circuit Court
(“Coleman II”), Cause No.
49C01-1606-CT-023136, which was dismissed without substantive
opinion on defendant's motion for summary judgment on
November 15, 2017.
filed this action (“Coleman III”) on May
12, 2017. [Dkt. 1.] The allegations in
Plaintiff's Refiled Verified Civil Rights Complaint and
Request for Emergency Injunctive Relief generally mirror
those in Coleman I. The first paragraph of
Plaintiff's Complaint notes, “Coleman decided to
refile his Complaint and readdress ALL his claims in a New
Case.” [Dkt. 1 at 2.] Defendants
assert the claims against City of Indianapolis should be
dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, as already
determined by the court in Coleman I. In the
alternative, Defendants assert the claims are barred by the
statute of limitations. Defendants further assert the
allegations against Lichtenberger and Schneeman fail to state
plausible claims and should be dismissed pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). Plaintiff did not file a response to
this motion, but rather filed a Motion to Amend Complaint
[Dkt. 33] which will be addressed at the conclusion
of this order.
12(b)(1) motion seeks dismissal of an action for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. The party asserting jurisdiction
bears the burden of establishing that jurisdiction is
satisfied. Glaser v. Wound Care Consultants, Inc.,
570 F.3d 907, 913 (7th Cir. 2009). 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). If the Court
determines at any time that it lacks subject matter
jurisdiction, it must dismiss the action as to all
defendants. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3).
motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the
viability of a complaint by arguing that it fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted. To survive a Rule
12(b)(6) motion, the complaint must provide enough factual
information to state a claim for relief that is plausible on
its face and “raise[s] a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). A complaint is
facially plausible “when the pleaded factual content
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
asserts twelve claims against Defendants. As will be
discussed below, the Court either lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over the claims against the City of
Indianapolis, as previously held in Coleman I, or
the claims are barred by res judicata. The claims
against Defendants Lichtenberger and Schneeman are analyzed
separately as they were not defendants in Coleman I.
Claims Against ...