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United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Chris GRINDLING, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Lance MARKS; et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 20-16494

Decided: June 29, 2021

Before: SILVERMAN, WATFORD, and BENNETT, Circuit Judges. Chris Grindling, Pro Se Peter Hanano, Esquire, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Richelle Kei Kawasaki, Esquire, Deputy Corporation Counsel, Moana Monique Lutey, Deputy Corporation Counsel, County of Maui, Department of the Corporation Counsel, Wailuku, HI, for Defendants-Appellees


Chris Grindling appeals pro se from the district court's judgment dismissing his 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action alleging federal and state law claims. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291. We review de novo a dismissal on the basis of res judicata. Mpoyo v. Litton Electro-Optical Sys., 430 F.3d 985, 987 (9th Cir. 2005). We affirm.

The district court properly dismissed Grindling's action as barred by the doctrine of res judicata because Grindling alleged nearly identical claims against the same defendants in a prior federal action that resulted in a final judgment on the merits. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b) (dismissal for failure to prosecute or comply with a court order “operates as an adjudication on the merits”); Mpoyo, 430 F.3d at 987-88 (elements of federal res judicata; claims are identical if they arise from the same transactional nucleus of facts).

The district court did not abuse its discretion by dismissing Grindling's action without leave to amend because amendment would be futile. See Cervantes v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 656 F.3d 1034, 1041 (9th Cir. 2011) (setting forth standard of review and explaining that dismissal without leave to amend is proper when amendment would be futile).


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