United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
CROOKED CREEK PROPERTIES, INC., a Nevada corporation, Plaintiff,
RICHARD ENSLEY and ANITA LILES, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
KEITH WATKINS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
vu! It is Groundhog Day, and, like the Punxsutawney
weatherman stuck in a circuitous time-loop,  this court finds
itself reviewing (and re-living) the same case, yet again.
But unlike Bill Murray's movie dilemma, it's not
funny. For the fourth consecutive time, in what can only be
described as a case of sheer delirium, Plaintiff, Crooked
Creek Properties, Inc. (“Crooked Creek”), files
this action seeking to reclaim a Section 8 housing apartment
complex, known as Danya Park Apartments, in Autauga County,
Alabama. (Doc. # 1.) However, because Plaintiff's
Complaint is no more availing than it was the three previous
times before this court-indeed, it is unavailing-Defendants
Richard Ensley and Anita Liles (collectively, the
“Defendants”) bring two motions: a motion to
dismiss (Doc. # 6), predicated on res judicata; and
a motion for sanctions (Doc. # 7), based upon Crooked
Creek's history of litigious, meritless, and vexatious
filings over the same (lost) cause. For the reasons stated
below, Defendants' motions are due to be granted.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
is exercised pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. The parties
do not contest personal jurisdiction or venue.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
evaluating a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the court must take the facts
alleged in the complaint as true and construe them in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Resnick v.
AvMed, Inc., 693 F.3d 1317, 1321-22 (11th Cir. 2012). To
survive Rule 12(b)(6) scrutiny, “a 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 Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 570 (2007)). “[F]acial plausibility” exists
“when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows
the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant
is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.
(citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). A Rule 12(b)(6)
motion tests the sufficiency of a complaint; it is not a
vehicle to litigate questions of fact. See Harper v.
Lawrence Cty., Ala., 592 F.3d 1227, 1232 (11th
Cir. 2010). However, exhibits attached to the complaint are
also properly considered in the 12(b)(6) inquiry. Weeks
v. Wyeth, Inc., 120 F.Supp.3d 1278, 1283 (M.D. Ala.
2015) (citing Thaeter v. Palm Beach Cty. Sheriff's
Office, 449 F.3d 1342, 1352 (11th Cir. 2006)).
fear of rote memorization, this court will not repeat Crooked
Creek's factual allegations or its resulting procedural
history. This court has summarized this history in two
previous lawsuits. See, e.g., Crooked Creek
Props., Inc. v. Hutchinson, No. 2:09-CV-1104-WKW, 2010
WL 3629818 (M.D. Ala. Sept. 10, 2010) (“Crooked
Creek II”), aff'd, No. 10-14477, 438
F.App'x 948 (11th Cir. 2011); Crooked Creek Props.,
Inc. v. Ensley, No. 2:08-CV-1002-WKW, 2009 WL 3644835
(M.D. Ala. Oct. 28, 2009) (“Crooked Creek
I”), aff'd, No. 09-15988, 380
F.App'x 914 (11th Cir. 2010). Other courts have Dated
this legwork as well. See, e.g., Walden v. ES
Capital, LLC, 89 So.3d 90 (Ala. 2011); Walden v.
Hutchinson, 987 So.2d 1109 (Ala. 2007); Ex parte
Walden, 785 So.2d 335 (Ala. 2000).
and perhaps most importantly, besides substituting new names
for its claims-which are in fact the same claims predicated
upon the same factual and procedural narrative as the
previous lawsuits-there is absolutely nothing new about this
Complaint. Because the court has extensive knowledge of the
procedural and factual underpinnings of this litigation, any
reference to the facts of this case will be drawn from those
Complaint, Crooked Creek asserts nine claims against
Defendants, including: a claim for trespass to real estate
(Claim I); a claim for conversion of negotiable instruments
(Claim II); a claim for unjust enrichment (Claim III); a
claim that Defendants wrongfully and unlawfully used and
occupied Crooked Creek's real property (Claim IV); a
claim to recover possession of real property (Claim V); a
claim in equity to remove a cloud on the title of its
property (Claim VI); a claim for ejectment (Claim VII); a
claim for partition by sale or by division (Claim VIII); and
a claim for an accounting (Claim IX). (Doc. # 1.)
assert that these claims are due to be dismissed for failure
to state a claim because the doctrine of res
judicata precludes Crooked Creek from re-litigating
these matters. (Doc. # 2.) Specifically, Defendants argue
that Plaintiff's “claims are barred by res judicata
several times over based on the multiple cases finding
against the Plaintiff and its alleged predecessors on claims
deriving from an alleged ownership interest.” (Doc. # 6
at 2.) Defendants are correct. For reasons of which, by now,
Crooked Creek ought to be fully aware, see generally
Crooked Creek II, 2010 WL 3629818; Crooked Creek
I, 2009 WL 3644835, the court agrees . . . again.
children usually learn fairly early on that if one parent
says “no” to a request, it is best not to go
behind his or her back and ask the other parent for the same
thing. What the first says, goes. Res judicata is
based on the same principle.“The elements of res
judicata, or claim preclusion, are (1) a prior judgment
on the merits, (2) rendered by a court of competent
jurisdiction, (3) with substantial identity of the parties,
and (4) with the same cause of action presented in both
suits.” Dairyland Ins. Co. v. Jackson, 566
So.2d 723, 725 (Ala. 1990). “If these essential
elements are met, any issue ...