United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division
STAN BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
who is currently incarcerated 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.) For the reasons set forth below, the
Court DEFERS frivolity review on
Plaintiff's Complaint and DIRECTS
Plaintiff to file an Amended Complaint within
fourteen (14) days of the date of this
Complaint, Plaintiff appears to make a number of allegations
against Defendants. However, it is unclear exactly what
claims Plaintiff seeks to pursue throughout his
eighteen-paged Complaint. His handwriting is illegible and he
appears to relay events that occurred as early as February
2014 to as recent as January 2017.
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.
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
Complaint appears to include a litany of claims that occurred
over the course of three years and rarely states which
Defendants are associated with which claims. The Eleventh
Circuit has routinely and explicitly condemned “shotgun
pleadings, ” Davis v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co.
Consol., 516 F.3d 955, 979 n.54 (11th Cir. 2008), which
it has described as pleadings that make it “virtually
impossible to know which allegations of fact are intended to
support which claim(s) for relief.” Strategic
Income Fund, LLC v. Spear, Leeds & Kellogg Corp.,
305 F.3d 1293, 1295 n.9 (11th Cir. 2002). A district court is
not required to “sift through the facts presented and
decide for itself which were 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, 305 F.3d at
1295 n.9). Additionally, a plaintiff may not 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's Complaint in its current form fails to state
a viable claim and is due to be dismissed. However, the Court
will provide Plaintiff the opportunity to amend his Complaint
and DIRECTS Plaintiff to file an Amended
Complaint within fourteen (14) days from the
date of this Order.
Court further DIRE ...