United States District Court, D. Colorado
JON A. GOODWIN, Plaintiff,
MARCIA ANN BRUGGEMAN HATCH, SEAMUS JOHN PAUL HATCH, MICHAEL DOUGLAS BOCK, GUNDERSON DETTMER STOUGH VILLENEUVE FRANKLIN & HACHIGIAN, LLP, ROBERT V. GUNDERSON, JR., SCOTT CHARLES DETTMER, THOMAS F. VILLENEUVE, DANIEL JURG NIEHANS, DANIEL E. O'CONNOR, KENNETH ROBERT McVAY, IVAN ALEXANDER GAVIRIA, DANIEL E. O'CONNOR, KENNETH ROBERT McVAY, JOHNSON & JOHNSON LLP, NEVILLE LAWRENCE JOHNSON DOUGLAS LOWELL JOHNSON, JONATHAN MARTIN TURCO, LAN PHONG VU, DIANA BIAFORA SPARAGNA, TINA LOUISE SCATUORCHIO-GOODWIN, BARRY STEVEN LEVIN, MATHEW LLOYD LARRABEE, ROBERT A. ESPEN, DAVID MARK JARGIELLO, RAMSEY & EHRLICH LLP, MILES FREDRICK EHRLICH, ISMAIL JOMO RAMSEY FOLGER LEVIN KAHN, LLP, MICHAEL ALEXNDER KAHN, JOHN DANIEL SHARP, DENELLE MARIE DIXON-THAYER, LEWIS ROCA ROTHGERBER CHRISTIE, LLP, FREDRICK JAMES BAUMANN, ALEX C. MYERS, HELLER EHRMAN (CALIFORNIA), VLG INVESTMENTS LLC, VLG INVESTMENTS 2006 LLC, VLG INVESTMENTS 2007 LLC, VLG INVESTMENTS 2008, LLC, HEWM INVESTORS, LLC, HEWM INVESTORS II, LLC, HEWM/VLG INVESTMENTS, LLC, DOES 1 - 100, Defendants.
ORDER ADOPTING THE DECEMBER 11, 2017 RECOMMENDATION
OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
CHRISTINE M. ARGUELLO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon the December 11, 2017,
Recommendation by United States Magistrate Judge Kristen L.
Mix that various claims be dismissed. (Doc. # 93.) Plaintiff
timely objected to the portions of the Recommendation that
recommended dismissal of certain claims. (Doc. # 94.) For the
reasons described herein, Plaintiff's Objection is
overruled. The Court affirms and adopts the Recommendation.
suit is the second lawsuit Plaintiff has filed in the Court
as to the disbanding of his “merchant banking firm,
” Barra Partners LLP (“Barra Partners”), in
THE 2013 CASE
2013, Plaintiff filed a lawsuit in this Court, Goodwin v.
Bruggeman-Hatch, 13-cv-02973-REB-MEH (the “2013
Case”), alleging 22 claims against 65 named defendants
and 1, 000 named defendants. (2013 Case, Doc. # 1.) The 2013
Case arose out of Plaintiff's belief that the defendants
conspired to steal money and business opportunities from him
and Barra Partners and to breakup Barra Partners.
(Id.) Eventually, all claims in the 2013 Case were
dismissed. (2013 Case, Doc. # 388). The Tenth Circuit
subsequently dismissed Plaintiff's appeal for failure to
prosecute. (2013 Case, Doc. # 404.)
filed the instant action on March 31, 2016, approximately 16
months after the Tenth Circuit denied Plaintiff's appeal
of the 2013 Case. See (Doc. # 1.) In his 404-page
Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges a criminal
enterprise and conspiracy against him and asserts claims for,
among other things, racketeering, breaches of fiduciary
duties, breaches of contract, and fraud. (Doc. # 83.) Thirty
Defendants in this action were also defendants in the 2013
Case, see (2013 Case, Doc. # 1); this action also
has eleven new named Defendants and one hundred Doe
Defendants as compared to the 2013 Case, see (Doc. #
83). As Magistrate Judge Mix detailed, Plaintiff's claims
implicate three prior state court judgments involving the
The first state court judgment is a 2007 order from the
California Superior Court in San Francisco County (the
“San Francisco court”) granting an injunction
against Plaintiff prohibiting him from publishing defamatory
statements online. The second state court judgment is a 2011
order from the California Superior Court in Los Angeles
County (the “Los Angeles court”) granting an
injunction against Plaintiff relating to defamatory
statements and barring him from re-publishing any of them on
the internet or on any other medium. The third state court
judgment is an order from the Denver District court, later
affirmed by the Colorado Court of Appeals, which domesticated
the permanent injunction from the Los Angeles court.
(Doc. # 93 at 3) (internal citations omitted.)
Defendants (“Moving Defendants”) filed a Motion
for Order to Show Cause on September 19, 2016. (Doc. # 84.)
Describing Plaintiff's claims as “chiefly the
same” as those in the 2013 Case, Moving Defendants
argued that Plaintiff's claims are barred by claim
preclusion, issue preclusion, and the Rooker-Feldman
doctrine. (Id. at 3-4.) Moving Defendants also asked
the Court to impose filing limitations on Plaintiff,
asserting that “this action makes clear that
[Plaintiff] habitually ignores the preclusive effect of
adverse judgments.” (Id. at 7.) Plaintiff
responded in opposition to Moving Defendants' Motion for
Order to Show Cause on October 19, 2016. (Doc. # 88.)
Plaintiff argued that there are material distinctions between
his claims in this action and those he asserted in the 2013
Case. (Id. at 15.)
Judge Mix issued the Order to Show Cause on November 4, 2016.
(Doc. # 90.) Her order required Plaintiff to show cause in
writing “(1) why this case is not barred by claim
preclusion, issue preclusion, and/or the Rooker
Feldman doctrine and therefore legally frivolous, and
(2) why [the Court] should not enjoin [Plaintiff] from filing
any future pro se actions in this Court.” (Id.
at 5-6.) On November 30, 2016, Plaintiff responded to the
Order to Show Cause, arguing Moving Defendants'
“defenses of claim and issue preclusion and the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine . . . are without evidence
and merit.” (Doc. # 92 at 25.)
THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S RECOMMENDATION
Judge Mix issued her Recommendation on December 11, 2017.
(Doc. # 93.) Magistrate Judge Mix first applied the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine to Plaintiff's claims
and then considered whether claim preclusion and issue
preclusion barred any of Plaintiff's claims.
(Id. at 4-33.) She recommended that certain claims
be dismissed with prejudice and others dismissed without
prejudice. (Id. at 33-34.) Under her Recommendation,
fifteen claims against certain Defendants would remain.
(Id. at 34.) Plaintiff timely objected to the
Recommendation on December 26, 2017. (Doc. # 94.) Moving
Defendants responded to Plaintiff's Objection on January
9, 2018. (Doc. # 96.)
STANDARDS OF REVIEW
REVIEW OF A RECOMMENDATION
magistrate judge issues a recommendation on a dispositive
matter, Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3) requires that the district
judge “determine de novo any part of the
magistrate judge's [recommended] disposition that has
been properly objected to.” An objection is properly
made if it is both timely and specific. United States v.
One Parcel of Real Property Known As 2121 East 30th
Street, 73 F.3d 1057, 1059 (10th Cir.1996). In
conducting its review, “[t]he district judge may
accept, reject, or modify the recommended disposition;
receive further evidence; or return the matter to the
magistrate judge with instructions.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
PRO SE PLAINTIFF
proceeds pro se. The Court, therefore, reviews his
pleading “liberally and hold[s] [it] to a less
stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys.”
Trackwell v. United States, 472 F.3d 1242, 1243
(10th Cir. 2007) (citations omitted). However, a pro
se litigant's “conclusory allegations without
supporting factual averments are insufficient to state a
claim upon which relief can be based.” Hall v.
Bellmon,935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). A court
may not assume that a plaintiff can prove facts that have not
been alleged, or that a defendant has violated laws in ways
that a plaintiff has not alleged. Associated Gen.
Contractors of Cal., Inc. v. Cal. State Council of
Carpenters, 459 U.S. 519, 526 (1983); see also
Whitney v. New Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th Cir.
1997) (a court may not “supply additional factual
allegations to round out a plaintiff's complaint”);
Drake v. City of Fort Collins, 927 F.2d 1156, 1159
(10th Cir. 1991) (a ...