United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Brunswick Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
STAN BAKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
who is currently housed at Tift County Jail in Tifton,
Georgia, filed a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
contesting his arrest and pretrial detention. (Doc. 1.) For
the reasons which follow, I RECOMMEND that the Court DISMISS
Plaintiff's Complaint for improper venue and failure to
state a claim, DIRECT the Clerk of Court to CLOSE this case,
and DENY Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma
pauperis on appeal.
Complaint, Plaintiff contends that the named
Defendants-employees of either Tift or Cook County-violated
his constitutional rights when they arrested and detained him
on August 10, 2016, and August 11, 2016. (Doc. 1.)
Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants did not
follow appropriate “seizure to conduct a search[, ] . .
. will not let me recorded [sic] the event[, ] . . . held
without questing [sic] or Miranda Rights[, ]” refused
bail and a preliminary hearing, and generally “not
following court procedures or court rules.” (Doc. 1, p.
seeks to bring this action in forma pauperis under
42 U.S.C. § 1983. 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. §
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,
Plaintiff's 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.”). The requisite review of
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint raises several doctrines of
law, which the Court discusses in turn.
Whether Venue is Proper in This Court
district court may raise the issue of defective venue sua
sponte. Collins v. Hagel, No. 1:13-CV-2051-WSD,
2015 WL 5691076, at *1 (N.D.Ga. Sept. 28, 2015) (citing
Kapordelis v. Danzig, 387 F.App'x 905, 906-07
(11th Cir. 2010) (affirming sua sponte transfer,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a), of pro se
prisoner's civil rights action from New York to Georgia);
Berry v. Salter, 179 F.Supp.2d 1345, 1350 (M.D. Ala.
2001); cf. Lipofsky v. New York State Workers Comp.
Bd., 861 F.2d 1257, 1259 (11th Cir. 1988); and Nalls
v. Coleman Low Fed. Inst., 440 F.App'x 704, 706
(11th Cir. 2011)). When venue is improper, a court
“shall dismiss, or if it be in the interest of justice,
transfer such case to any district . . . in which it could
have been brought.” 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a).
“The court may transfer the case if (1) the proposed
transferee court is one in which the action ‘could have
been brought' and (2) transfer would be ‘in the
interest of justice.'” Leach v. Peacock,
Civil Action No. 2:09cv738-MHT, 2011 WL 1130596, at *4 (M.D.
Ala. Mar. 25, 2011) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a)). Trial
courts generally have broad discretion in determining whether
to transfer or dismiss a case. Id. (citing
England v. ITT Thompson Indus., Inc., 856 F.2d 1518,
1520 (11th Cir. 1988)).
Court is not the proper venue to hear Plaintiff's claims
against the named Defendants. 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) sets
forth the applicable venue provisions:
A civil action may be brought in (1) a judicial district in
which any defendant resides, if all defendants are residents
of the State in which the district is located; (2) a judicial
district in which a substantial part of the events or
omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial
part of property that is the subject of the action is
situated; or (3) if there is no district in which an action
may otherwise be brought as provided in this section, any