United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
March 23, 2015
RA'KYM WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
BRYAN COUNTY JAIL, Defendant.
G. R. SMITH, Magistrate Judge.
Proceeding pro se, inmate Ra'kym Williams brings this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 case against... he doesn't say. Doc. 1 at 1. The Clerk took an educated guess and, on the docket page, inserted "Bryan County Jail" as the defendant. Williams complains about: (a) being wrongly tasered by a jail guard; "not receiving my right medication for my mental issues"; an inadequate law library at the jail; "filthy" jail cells and showers; and inmates being charged money for things that used to be free. Id. at 5.
This case faces dismissed for want of a named defendant. It is not up to the Court or its Clerk to name one for him. The plaintiff, after all, "is the master of the complaint." Pearson v. Augusta, 2015 WL 800206 at * 1 (S.D. Ga. Feb. 24, 2015); Hager v. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC, 2015 WL 1003856 at *1 (M.D. Fla. Mar. 6, 2015). And a Georgia jail cannot be sued in any event. Logue, Jr. v. Chatham Cnty. Det. Cntr., 2010 WL 5769485 at * 3 (S.D. Ga. Dec. 29, 2010) ("Chatham County Detention Center... is not an entity that is subject to suit under § 1983."); Ansley v. Franks, 2010 WL 4007626 at *2 n. 2 (S.D. Ga. Aug. 30, 2010) ("the jail has no independent legal existence and is therefore not an entity that is subject to suit under § 1983."); Allen v. Brown, 2013 WL 1333175 at * 3 (S.D. Ga. Mar. 7, 2013).
Too, plaintiff seeks no damages, only a request for "the Court to help me with gettin[g] the correct people[, ] meaning[, ] the [Georgia Bureau of Investigation, ] to come and see what is going on here and help with sending someone to talk to us inmates about what's going on here with this system." Doc. 1 at 6. Hence, he seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to remedy allegedly unconstitutional jail. conditions. Peralta v. Dillard, 744 F.3d 1076 1083 (9th Cir. 2014) ("although prisoners can't sue states for monetary relief, they can sue for injunctions to correct unconstitutional prison conditions. See Will v. Mich. Dept of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 & n. 10, 109 S.Ct. 2304, 105 L.Ed.2d 45 (1989); see also Brown v. Plata, ___ U.S. ___, 131 S.Ct. 1910, 179 L.Ed.2d 969 (2011).").
As is the case with many pro se litigators, Williams forgets that Congress restricted the power of federal courts to act. Citizens thus cannot "make a federal case" out of life's daily travails. That's why plaintiffs bear the burden of establishing both jurisdiction and an actionable claim - through factual pleadings governed by rules like Fed., R. Civ. P. 8 & 10.
Williams has simply failed to do either here. See, e.g., Phillips v Mashburn, 746 F.2d 782, 785 (11th Cir. 1984) (naked assertion of conspiracy between state judge and private defendants without supporting operative facts provided insufficient state action nexus for § 1983 action); Sturdza v. United Arab Emirates, 658 F.Supp.2d 135 (D.D.C. 2009) ( pro se plaintiff's allegations failed to state claims against 22 named defendants, and thus would be dismissed; complaint alleged facts by referring to documents not clearly identified or that were not attached to complaint, plaintiff made no factual allegations against any defendants she referred to as "All Plaintiffs Former Lawyers, " and complaint alleged no wrongdoing by one of named defendants).
Nor can the Court research the law and develop supporting facts for him. Boles v. Riva, 565 F.App'x 845, 846 (11th Cir. 2014) ("[E]ven in the case of pro se litigants this leniency does not give a court license to serve as de facto counsel for a party, or to rewrite an otherwise deficient pleading in order to sustain an action.") (quotes and cite omitted); Sec'y, Fl. Dept. of Corr. v. Baker, 406 F.App'x 416, 422 (11th Cir. 2010); Swain v. Colorado Tech. Univ., 2014 WL 3012693 at * 1 (S.D. Ga. June 12, 2014) ("While Congress has chosen to provide indigents with access to the courts by way of its IFP statute, it has not funded a pro se support function. Judges, then, at most can construe liberally what pro se litigants say factually, but they cannot develop legal arguments or plug the legal holes in their cases for them.").
Within 30 days of the date this Order is served, plaintiff must file an Amended Complaint specifying what legal claims he wishes to raise in this case. Failure to comply with this Order will result in a recommendation that his case be dismissed.
Finally, Williams must pay his filing fee. His furnished account information shows that he has averaged $24.31 in his prison account during the past six months. Doc. 4. He therefore owes a $4.86 partial filing fee. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) (requiring an initial fee assessment "when funds exist, " under a specific 20 percent formula). His custodian (or designee) therefore shall remit that to the clerk of court (payable to the "clerk of Court") plus 20 percent of all future deposits to his account, forward those additional funds to the clerk each time the set aside amount reaches $10.00, until the balance of the court's $350.00 filing fee has been paid in full.
Also, the Clerk is DIRECTED to send this Order to plaintiffs account custodian immediately. In the event plaintiff is transferred to another institution, his present custodian shall forward a copy of this Order and all financial information concerning payment of the filing fee and costs in this case to plaintiffs new custodian. The balance due from the plaintiff shall be collected by the custodian at his next institution in accordance with the terms of this Order.