United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CHARLES A. SHAW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
closed prisoner civil rights matter is before the Court on
pro se plaintiff Lawrence Martin Edwards' “Motion
to Order Court” which asks the Court (1) for
examination of the judgment debtor “Tamoshanter Cobb,
” and (2) to issue a writ of execution directed to the
“Missouri Department of Corrections and its
‘insurer' or entity which pays out for/to
correctional officers such as Tamoshanter Cobb.”
Plaintiff also requests two blank subpoenas for issuance to
following reasons, plaintiff's motion will be denied in
all respects without prejudice, and the Missouri Department
of Corrections will be required to file certain information
with the Court with respect to former employees Tamara Cobbs
and Tamoshanter D. Cobb.
order to make clear the issues that plaintiff's motion
and the Court's review of the file have raised, it is
necessary to set out a description of the factual and
procedural background of this case.
and Procedural Background
filed this action on January 3, 2006 under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, asserting claims against a number of MDOC employees at
Southeast Correctional Center (“SECC”). The case
was assigned to United States Magistrate Judge Frederick R.
Buckles, who is now retired. Plaintiff was granted leave to
file an amended complaint on February 20, 2007 and ordered
the Clerk to issue process thereon (Doc. 82).
amended complaint added a number of defendants to the case,
including Tamara Cobbs (Doc. 83). In the amended complaint,
plaintiff alleged that on June 6, 2005, Cobbs approached his
cell and began harassing him because he had reported conduct
of Cobbs' friend, defendant Green. Plaintiff alleged that
Cobbs called him a “snitch” in front of other
offenders and told offenders in adjoining cells that he was a
snitch, and scratched plaintiff's shoulder with her
fingernails. (Doc. 83 at 11, ¶¶ 53). Plaintiff
alleged that on June 16, 2005, Cobbs began harassing him,
again calling him a “snitch” in the presence of
other offenders, in an attempt to cause the other offenders
to become angry and violent towards him, and inflicted
numerous scratches on his underarm and chest area.
(Id., ¶ 54.)
Clerk sent a waiver of service letter concerning the new
defendants to the Deputy Chief Counsel of the Missouri
Attorney General's Office (“AG”). (Doc. 84.)
On April 20, 2007, the AG waived service and entered an
appearance for all of the new defendants except for Tamara
Cobbs and Laura Vance, stating that Cobbs and Vance
“have not been identified as current employees with
the” MDOC. (Doc. 112.) The Clerk then sent a letter to
plaintiff, stating that he must provide an address at which
service could be made on Cobbs and Vance. (Doc. 115.)
Plaintiff responded by providing the address of SECC. (Doc.
116.) Judge Buckles ordered the Clerk to prepare summons and
deliver them to the U.S. Marshal for service on Cobbs and
Vance. (Doc. 117.) The summons were returned unexecuted; the
one for Cobbs stated, “Per  Personnel Clerk, Cobbs is
no longer employed by the D.O.C.” (Doc. 120.)
Buckles then ordered counsel for the MDOC defendants to
provide to the Court, in camera and under seal, the
last known address of Cobbs and Vance. (Doc. 124.) On June
29, 2007, MDOC's counsel filed a Notice of Filing
Document Under Seal (Doc. 125), which stated that counsel
certified he would submit the last known addresses of Cobbs
and Vance to the Court in camera and under seal.
(Doc. 125.) Because the addresses were provided in
camera, the information was provided to Judge Buckles in
chambers and maintained there, and was likely shredded with
Judge Buckles' work files when he retired in November
2013. It is certain that the addresses for Cobbs and Vance
that MDOC counsel provided to the Court were never made part
of the Court file.
5, 2007, summons were reissued to Cobbs and Vance. On August
22, 2007, the U.S. Marshal filed a return of service which
states that Tamara Cobbs was personally served on August 8,
2007, at an address which was “under seal.” (Doc.
127.) The undersigned does not know where Cobbs was served.
September 26, 2007, Judge Buckles issued an Order that
recited the procedural history of the case and stated that
defendants Cobbs and Vance had been served with process but
neither had answered or otherwise appeared in the case, and
that other defendants had filed motions to dismiss. The Order
stated that a magistrate judge cannot proceed to determine
dispositive matters unless and until all parties to a case
have entered and consented to the magistrate judge's
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), and because Cobbs
and Vance had been served but failed to appear, Judge Buckles
could not obtain the full consent required to proceed in the
case. The Order directed the Clerk to randomly reassign the
case to a district judge for all further proceedings. (Doc.
130.) The case was randomly reassigned to the undersigned.
motion for clerk's entry of default against Cobbs and
Vance was granted on October 11, 2007 (Doc. 135). On January
25, 2008, the undersigned denied without prejudice
plaintiff's motion for a default judgment against Cobbs
and Vance. (Doc. 170.) On July 28, 2008, the undersigned denied
without prejudice plaintiff's second motion for default
judgment against defendant Cobbs. (Doc. 248.)
September 11, 2008, the Court granted the remaining
defendants' motion for summary judgment, leaving only
defaulting defendant Cobbs in the case. (Doc. 255.) The Court
ordered plaintiff to file a motion for default judgment
against Cobbs. (Doc. 257.) On October 20, 2008, the Court
granted plaintiff's motion for default judgment against
Cobbs and entered judgment in plaintiff's favor in the
total amount of $1, 000, consisting of $500 actual and $500
punitive damages, and the case was closed.
subsequently attempted to collect the default judgment
against Cobbs, including by filing multiple motions for
garnishment and writs of sequestration, but these attempts
were unsuccessful. The Court denied plaintiff's motion to
obtain Cobbs' Social Security number from the AG.
(See Mem. and Order of May 10, 2011 (Doc. 313)). The
Court denied plaintiff's motion to compel the
“defendants” to produce certain information
concerning Cobbs, including her employment application,
employment record, marriage certificate, driver's license
number, and Social Security number. (Mem. and ...