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 the Appling County Jail in Baxley,
Georgia, filed a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
(Doc. 1.) Concurrently, Plaintiff also filed a Motion for
Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis. (Doc. 2.) For
the reasons which follow, the Court DENIES
Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma
Pauperis. (Doc. 2.) For these same reasons, I
RECOMMEND the Court DISMISS
Plaintiff's Complaint for failure to state a claim and
DIRECT the Clerk of Court to enter the
appropriate judgment of dismissal and CLOSE
this case. Additionally, I RECOMMEND the
Court DENY Plaintiff leave to appeal in
Complaint, Plaintiff states he “need[s] help dealing
with the situation [he is] currently in” at the Jail.
(Doc. 1, p. 5.) Plaintiff contends he was arrested without a
warrant and has been at the Appling County Jail for over two
years' time. Plaintiff asserts he has received no
assistance from the justice system and “might not ever
go home[.]” (Id.) Plaintiff names as
Defendants Robert Eunice, Tonya Carter, and the Appling
County Sheriff's Office.
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, 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[.]”) (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
Dismissal of Claims Against Defendants Eunice and
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. Further, Section 1983 liability must be based on
something more than a defendant's supervisory position or
a theory of respondeat superior. Bryant v.
Jones, 575 F.3d 1281, 1299 (11th Cir. 2009); Braddy
v. Fla. Dep't of Labor & Emp't Sec., 133
F.3d 797, 801 (11th Cir. 1998). A supervisor may be liable
only through personal participation in the alleged
constitutional violation or when there is a causal connection
between the supervisor's conduct and the alleged
violations. Id. at 802. “To state a claim
against a supervisory defendant, the plaintiff must allege
(1) the supervisor's personal involvement in the
violation of his constitutional rights, (2) the existence of
a custom or policy that resulted in deliberate indifference
to the plaintiff's constitutional rights, (3) facts
supporting an inference that the supervisor directed the
unlawful action or knowingly failed to prevent it, or (4) a
history of widespread abuse that put the supervisor on notice
of an alleged deprivation that he then failed to
correct.” Barr v. Gee, 437 F. App'x 865,
875 (11th Cir. 2011).
unclear whether Defendants Eunice and Carter hold any
supervisory positions at the Appling County Jail. To the
extent Plaintiff seeks to hold Defendants Eunice and Carter
liable solely based on their putative supervisory positions,
he cannot do so. Plaintiff fails to present any facts
indicating there is a causal connection between the actions
of Defendants Eunice and Carter and the alleged violation of
Plaintiff's constitutional rights. Plaintiff does not
allege that Defendants Eunice and Carter were personally
involved in the conditions that he complains of or that the
conditions resulted from some custom or policy these
Defendants promulgated or maintained. Plaintiff also fails to
plausibly allege that Defendants Eunice or Carter directed
the allegedly unlawful conditions or ignored a widespread
history of abuse in this regard. In fact, Plaintiff fails to
make even conclusory allegations that Defendants Eunice or
Carter were aware of or were personally responsible for the
alleged violations of Plaintiff's constitutional rights.
Accordingly, the Court should DISMISS
Plaintiff's claims against Defendants Eunice and Carter
and DISMISS Plaintiff's claims against
these Defendants based on his failure to state a claim.
Claims Against the Appling County ...