United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
STAN BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
who is currently incarcerated at Georgia State Prison in
Reidsville, Georgia, filed a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 contesting certain conditions of his confinement.
(Doc. 1.) The Court ordered Plaintiff to amend his Complaint
and resubmit an application to proceed in forma
pauperis. (Doc. 8.) Plaintiff subsequently filed an
Amended Complaint and a new Motion for Leave to Proceed
in Forma Pauperis. (Docs. 9, 10.) For the reasons
set forth below, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's Motions for
Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis, (docs. 5, 10).
In addition, I RECOMMEND that the Court DISMISS
Plaintiff's Complaint WITHOUT PREJUDICE, DIRECT the Clerk
of Court to CLOSE this case, and DENY Plaintiff leave to
appeal in forma pauperis.
original Complaint, Plaintiff named 37 Defendants and alleged
a litany of unrelated claims. Plaintiff complained that (1)
he did not have a sanitary toilet; (2) prison staff failed to
protect him against other inmate assaults; (3) prison staff
exhibited deliberate indifference to his medical needs; (4)
prison staff retaliated against him and; (5) prison staff
used excessive force against him. In the Court's January
24, 2017, Order, the Court advised Plaintiff that “his
claims appear to be unrelated to each other, and [the] Court
[would] not permit him to pursue unrelated claims in a single
cause of action.” (Doc. 8, p. 6.) The Court directed
Plaintiff to submit a new Complaint in compliance with its
Order within fourteen (14) days. (Id. at p. 5.) In
response, Plaintiff filed two Amended Complaints, (docs. 9,
11), against two separate groups of Defendants. However, each
of these Amended Complaints still asserts multiple, unrelated
claims, including: equal protection claims; cruel and unusual
punishment claims regarding insufficient drinking water and
sanitary toilets; deliberate indifference claims regarding
Plaintiff's protection from other inmates; and
retaliation claims. Furthermore, the majority of
Plaintiff's Amended Complaints simply repeats his prior,
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, 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).
Court looks to the instructions for pleading contained in the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure when reviewing a Complaint
on an application to proceed in forma pauperis.
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. 2001)).
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.
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
Dismissal for Failure to State a Claim and Failure to Follow
this Court's Orders
Court issued an Order directing Plaintiff to amend his
Complaint and provided specific instructions as to how
Plaintiff could amend to state a plausible claim. (Doc. 8.)
Specifically, the Court instructed Plaintiff to
“include which claim or related claims (or,
alternatively, which claims against which Defendants)
Plaintiff wishe[d] to pursue in this action, ” and that
he could file separate complaints for his other claims.
(Id. at p. 6.) However, Plaintiff ignored the
Court's instructions and instead submitted another
“shotgun pleading” in which he asserts nearly all
the claims he asserted in the original Complaint.
Furthermore, with Plaintiff's stream-of-consciousness
allegations, repetitive paragraphs, and illegible
handwriting, it is difficult for the Court to decipher what
claims against which Defendants Plaintiff is attempting to
Amended Complaint, (docs. 9, 11), is still a “shotgun
pleading” that is unclear as to which facts are
“material to the particular cause of action
asserted.” Beckwith v. Bellsouth Telecomms.
Inc., 146 F. App'x 368, 372 (11th Cir. 2005)
(quoting Strategic Income Fund, L.L.C. v. Spear, 305
F.3d 1293, 1295 n.9 (11th Cir. 2002)). Despite the Court
specifically reminding Plaintiff that he cannot “join
unrelated claims and various defendants unless the claims
‘arise out of the same transaction, occurrence, or
series of transactions or occurrences; and any question of
law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the
action[, ]'” Plaintiff has failed to follow this
directive and attempts to do the very same. (Doc. 10, p. 5
(citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a).) Plaintiff's Complaint, ...