United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Elizabeth K. Dillon United States District Judge
action, Chang Lim, proceeding pro se,  brings multiple
claims against multiple defendants. The defendants fall into
two distinct groups. The first (the Terumo Heart defendants)
is composed of persons and entities that have some alleged
connection to Lim's former employment. And the second
(the Goetz defendants) is composed of persons and entities
that have some alleged connection to Lim's former
residence. Since the claims against the first group have
nothing to do with the claims against the second, the court
will sua sponte dismiss the second group for
misjoinder, pursuant to its authority under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 21.
Lim's Previous Litigation Against Terumo Heart
March 2010, Lim, who is from South Korea, started working as
the regulatory affairs manager at Terumo Heart, Inc., a
medical-device company in Michigan. Lim v. Terumo
Corp., Nos. 14-1513/1573, at 1 (6th Cir. Apr. 2, 2015)
(reproduced at Dkt. No. 3-1, at 43-47). A few months later,
in July, he started to complain about his supervisor's
performance and about quality control and regulatory
compliance to the company's president. Id. at 2.
The president referred Lim's complaints to the
company's compliance officer, Gael Tisack. Id.
She investigated the complaints and determined that they were
unfounded. Id. She told Lim her findings and
instructed him to “stop making false and inflammatory
months later, in September, Lim was involved in another
dust-up at Terumo Heart. Id. Against his
supervisor's instructions, Lim told one of his
subordinates not to participate in software testing because,
according to Lim, it violated (among other things)
regulations of the Food and Drug Administration. Id.
The president stepped in and told the subordinate to
participate in the software testing. Id.
that month, Tisack met with Lim and gave him a report on her
investigation, in which she concluded that his complaints
against his supervisor were false and that his behavior was
insubordinate. Id. On October 1, Lim sent Tisack an
e-mail, accusing her of “failing to bring correction,
corrective action, and/or preventive action.”
Id. (brackets omitted). The company fired him later
that day. Id.
then sued Terumo Heart and other related persons and entities
in a Michigan federal court. Id. He alleged (among
other things) that the defendants had retaliated against him
and terminated his employment because of his race, color, and
national origin, in violation of Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.).
Id. In April 2014, the district court granted
summary judgment to the defendants and awarded them fees,
costs, and sanctions. Id. at 2-4. A year later, the
Sixth Circuit affirmed, id. at 10-11, though one of
the judges on the panel thought that the district court
should have ordered Lim to pay the defendants even more fees
and costs for his failure to comply with a discovery order,
id. at 12-13 (McKeague, J., concurring in part and
dissenting in part).
Lim failed to post a supersedeas bond, Terumo Heart decided
to attempt to collect on its judgment against him before the
Sixth Circuit issued its ruling. Following his termination,
Lim moved from Michigan to Virginia. So Terumo Heart hired a
Virginia attorney, John Falcone of Petty, Livingston, Dawson
& Richards, to start collection proceedings against Lim
in Virginia. In October 2014, Falcone domesticated the
judgment in the Lynchburg City Circuit Court and, a month
later, conducted debtor interrogatories. (Notice of Filing of
Foreign Judgment 1, Oct. 8, 2014, Dkt. No. 3-1, at 60; Order
of Lynchburg City Circuit Court 1, May 21, 2015, Dkt. No.
3-1, at 66.) Lim's answers revealed that he owned a
website. (Order of Lynchburg City Circuit Court 1.) In May
2015, the Lynchburg City Circuit Court ordered that the
website be sold to satisfy the judgment. (Id.)
Lim's Previous Litigation Against the Goetzes
he was fired by Terumo Heart and moved to Virginia, Lim
leased his home in Michigan to Sandy and Brian Goetz. Lim
v. Goetz, No. 7:15-cv-00551, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
13960, at *2 (W.D. Va. Feb. 5, 2016). When the lease ended,
Lim believed that the Goetzes returned the home in damaged
condition, so he decided to keep their security deposit.
Id. The Goetzes disagreed with that decision and
thus, in January 2014, filed suit against Lim in a Michigan
state court. Id. The court entered judgment in the
Goetzes' favor. Id.
collect on their judgment, the Goetzes hired an attorney in
Virginia to begin collection proceedings against Lim in
Virginia. Id. at *3. In July 2015, the attorney
domesticated the judgment in the Floyd County Circuit Court.
Id. In an effort to stop the Goetzes from enforcing
the judgment, Lim moved to set it aside. Id. The
court denied the motion. Id. at *4.
October 2015, Lim brought suit in this court against the
Goetzes, the lawyer and law firm that represented them in
Michigan, and the judge of the Floyd County Circuit Court
that presided over their case in Virginia. He alleged two
federal-law claims against the judge and several state-law
claims against the other defendants. Id. at *1, *5.
Lim later amended his complaint to add Sandy Goetz's
employer, the Charles Reinhart Company, and the attorney and
law firm that helped the Goetzes domesticate their judgment
against Lim in Virginia.
defendants moved to dismiss. Id. at *11. In February
2016, the court granted the judge's motion, concluding
that it lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over the claims
against him under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine.
Id. at *8-9. Because Lim's claims against the
judge were the only federal claims, and because diversity
jurisdiction was not alleged, the court declined to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining ...