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Davenport v. Hall

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Waycross Division

August 8, 2017

GREGORY ALLEN DAVENPORT, Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN HILTON HALL; DEWAYNE H. GILLIS; and CHRISTOPHER M. CARR, Defendants.

          ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          R. STAN BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, an inmate currently housed at Coffee Correctional Facility in Nicholls, Georgia, filed this Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 contesting certain conditions of his confinement. (Doc. 1.) Additionally, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis. (Doc. 2.) For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff fails to set forth a claim upon which relief may be granted. Consequently, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis. (Doc. 2.) Furthermore, I RECOMMEND that the Court DISMISS this action for failure to state a claim and DENY Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff, an inmate at Coffee Correctional Facility, alleges that Defendants “are in violation of the ‘FSIA' by detaining and/or conspiring to further the detention of Plaintiff.”[1] (Doc. 1, p. 5.) Plaintiff states that “[d]efendants lack subject matter jurisdiction, as plaintiff is pleading absolute immunity[.]” Plaintiff further states “[d]efendants have no jurisdiction within the state land. . . . [and] have failed to, after numerous requests from plaintiff, to provide an existing contract, proof of ratification of commencement, or any sworn affidavits or paperwork that would provide validity to any assessments of proof of claims against plaintiff. Plaintiff denies any contract exists.” (Id.) Plaintiff then lists twelve statutes and claims Defendants have accused him of violating those statutes. (Id.) Plaintiff provides no further detail of any facts underlying his claims.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Plaintiff 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, 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, 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).

         When 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. 2001)).

         Whether 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)).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Claims Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

         In order to state a claim for relief under Section 1983, a plaintiff must satisfy two elements. First, a plaintiff must allege that an act or omission deprived him “of some right, privilege, or immunity secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States.” Hale v. Tallapoosa Cty., 50 F.3d 1579, 1582 (11th Cir. 1995). Second, a plaintiff must allege that the act or omission was committed by “a person acting under color of state law.” Id.

         Here, Plaintiff alleges Defendants have violated his rights under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (“FSIA”). This statute governs the process by which a foreign sovereign nation may be sued in the United States. Plaintiff is not a foreign sovereign nation, and he has failed to plausibly allege how Defendants have denied him of any right, privilege, or immunity secured by the FSIA. Any claims Plaintiff attempts to bring under this statute are, therefore, frivolous. Accordingly, I RECOMMEND that the Court DISMISS Plaintiff's Complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

         II. Leave to Appeal in Forma Pauperis

         The Court should also deny Plaintiff leave to appeal in forma pauperis.[2] Though Plaintiff has, of course, not yet filed a notice of appeal, it would be appropriate to address these issues in the Court's order of dismissal. Fed. R. App. P. 24(a)(3) (trial court may certify that appeal is not ...


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