Case Caption: Meral Smith, (Appellant/Plaintiff,) v Charles W. Turnbull and Iver A. Stridiron (Appellees/Defendants)Case Number: S.Ct.Civ. No. 2007-104Date: 09/14/2010Author: Per CuriamCitation: Summary:

The Court, applying its prior decision in Martinez v. Colombian Emeralds, holds that the Superior Court lacked discretion to accept or consider the defendants' answer or motion to dismiss prior to ruling on the plaintiff's motion for entry of default. Moreover, the Court holds that the Superior Court erred when it applied the doctrine of res judicata to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint because (1) individuals sued in their official capacity are not in privity with the same individuals sued in their personal capacity; and (2) the plaintiff was precluded from bringing a claim for money damages as part of his prior habeas corpus action, and thus his instant civil rights lawsuit did not arise from the same transaction or occurrence as his earlier petition for writ of habeas corpus.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion