United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
STAN BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGEs
an inmate at Georgia State Prison in Reidsville, Georgia,
submitted a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
contesting certain conditions of his confinement. (Doc. 1.)
The Court has conducted an initial review of Plaintiffs
Complaint, as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915 A. For the
reasons which follow, I RECOMMEND that the Court DISMISS
Plaintiffs Complaint for failure to state a claim, DIRECT the
Clerk of Court to CLOSE this case, and DENY Plaintiff leave
to appeal in forma pauperis.
Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he was taken from his cell
to the crisis unit to address a mental issue on August 25,
2016. (Doc. 1, p. 7.) During Plaintiffs stay in the crisis
unit, Defendant Officer Nobilio packed up Plaintiffs
belongings and misplaced a portion of those belongings.
(Id.) As a result, when Plaintiff returned from the
crisis unit, Defendant Officer Epperson issued only part of
Plaintiff s belongings back to him. (Id.) Plaintiff
contends that he lost 426 personal photos, in addition to
other unspecified items which were lost or stolen.
(Id. at p. 8.) He requests compensation for these
items or, in the alternative, that Defendants replace his
seeks to bring this action in forma pauperis. Under
28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1), the Court may authorize the
filing of a civil lawsuit without the prepayment of fees if
the plaintiff submits an affidavit that includes a statement
of all of his assets and shows an inability to pay the filing
fee and also includes a statement of the nature of the action
which shows that he is entitled to redress. Even if the
plaintiff proves indigence, the Court must dismiss the action
if it is frivolous or malicious, or fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(ii). Additionally, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, the Court must review a complaint in which a
prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity. Upon such
screening, the Court must dismiss a complaint, or any portion
thereof, that is frivolous or malicious, or fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted or which seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
reviewing a Complaint on an application to proceed in
forma pauperis, the Court is guided by the instructions
for pleading contained in the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8 ("A pleading
that states a claim for relief must contain [among other
things] . . . a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief");
Fed.R.Civ.P. 10 (requiring that claims be set forth in
numbered paragraphs, each limited to a single set of
circumstances). Further, a claim is frivolous under Section
1915(e)(2)(B)(i) "if it is 'without arguable merit
either in law or fact.'" Napier v.
Preslicka. 314 F.3d 528, 531 (11th Cir. 2002) (quoting
Bilal v. Driver, 251 F.3d 1346, 1349 (11th Cir.
a complaint fails to state a claim under Section
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is governed by the same standard applicable
to motions to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6). Thompson v. Rundle, 393 F.App'x 675,
678 (11th Cir. 2010). Under that standard, this Court must
determine whether the complaint contains "sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A
plaintiff must assert "more than labels and conclusions,
and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action will not" suffice. Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555. Section 1915 also "accords judges not only the
authority to dismiss a claim based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory, but also the unusual power to pierce
the veil of the complaint's factual allegations and
dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly
baseless." Bilal, 251 F.3d at 1349 (quoting Neitzke
v. Williams. 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989)).
analysis, the Court will abide by the long-standing principle
that the pleadings of unrepresented parties are held to a
less stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys and,
therefore, must be liberally construed. Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); Boxer X v.
Harris, 437 F.3d 1107, 1110 (11th Cir. 2006) ("Pro
se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than
pleadings drafted by attorneys.") (emphasis omitted)
(quoting Hughes v. Lott 350 F.3d 1157, 1160 (11th
Cir. 2003)). However, Plaintiffs unrepresented status will
not excuse mistakes regarding procedural rules. McNeil v.
United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993) ("We have
never suggested that procedural rules in ordinary civil
litigation should be interpreted so as to excuse mistakes by
those who proceed without counsel.").
Dismissal of Claims Relating to Loss of Property
claims that Defendant Officer Nobilio misplaced Plaintiffs
personal property and failed to return it to him. (Doc. 1, p.
7.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Officer Epperson is
similarly responsible for the loss of his property because
she is the officer-in-charge of inmate property.
(Id.) Plaintiff alleges that he filed a grievance
regarding the loss of his property, but that grievance was
rejected as untimely. (Id. at p. 4.)
claims implicate his right to procedural due process. A
Section 1983 action alleging a procedural due process clause
violation requires proof of three elements: "(1) a
deprivation of a constitutionally-protected liberty or
property interest; (2) state action; and (3) constitutionally
inadequate process." Doe v. Fla. Bar, 630 F.3d
1336, 1342 (11th Cir. 2011) (quoting Cryder v.
Oxendine. 24 F.3d 175, 177 (11th Cir. 1994)). As to the
third element, it is ...