United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EM'S UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE SOUTHERN DISTRICT
10, 2017, Plaintiff, an inmate at Coffee Correctional
Facility (CCF) in Nicholls, Georgia, submitted a pleading on
a form used to file a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983, and the Clerk of Court opened the case as a civil
rights action in the Way cross Division of the Southern
District of Georgia. Johnson v. Hall, CV 517-086,
doc. no. 1 (S.D. Ga. July 10, 2017). Upon review of the
pleading, United States Magistrate Judge R. Stan Baker
concluded that although Plaintiff sought monetary damages
from Defendants, he also sought immediate release from prison
based on a conviction obtained in Columbia County, Georgia.
Li, doc. no. 5, p. 1. Thus, Judge Baker determined the case
was more appropriately characterized as a habeas corpus
petition and transferred the case to the Augusta Division,
the location where the challenged conviction was obtained. Li
Upon transfer, the Clerk of Court again docketed the case as
a civil rights complaint. Johnson v. Hall CV
117-082, doc. nos. 6, 7 (S.D. Ga. July 19, 2017).
review of the transferred proceedings, the Court concluded
the case could not move forward without first obtaining
clarifying information from Plaintiff. In particular, the
Court provided Plaintiff with the warning required by
Castro v. United States, 540 U.S. 375, 382-83
(2003), and directed Plaintiff to notify the Court whether he
contested the recharacterization of his pleading submitted on
a § 1983 form, wished to withdraw the pleading, or
wished to assert any other federal habeas corpus claims he
believes he has. (See doc. no. 8.) The Clerk of
Court also provided a blank habeas corpus form. (See
doc. no. 8-1.) Plaintiff responded that he did not seek his
immediate release and expungement of his record, but
preferred to proceed with a civil rights complaint.
(See doc. no. 9.)
Court then granted Plaintiff permission to proceed in
forma pauperis ("IFP") with his civil rights
case and ordered him to file an amended complaint, which he
did. (See doc. nos. 10, 13.) Because he is
proceeding IFP, Plaintiffs amended complaint must be screened
to protect potential defendants. Phillips v.
Mashburn, 746 F.2d 782, 785 (11th Cir. 1984);
Al-Amin v. Donald, 165 Fed.Appx. 733, 736 (11th Cir.
SCREENING OF THE AMENDED COMPLAINT
names the following Defendants: (1) Hilton Hall, Warden of
CCF; (2) Honorable James Blanchard, Jr., Superior Court
Judge, and (3) Homer Bryson, Commissioner of Georgia
Department of Corrections. (See doc, no. 13, pp.
1-3.) Plaintiff sues all Defendants in their official
capacity. QA at 2-3.) Taking all of Plaintiff's
factual allegations as true, as the Court must for purposes
of the present screening, the facts are as follows.
has been incarcerated since May of 2010. (Id. at 4.)
He provides no details of his crime of conviction or
sentence, but Plaintiff asserts he is "illegally
incarcerated due to a null sentence imposed by Judge
Bla[n]chard, upheld by Commissioner Bryson, and Warden
Hall." (Li at 5.) Plaintiff also contends his
constitutional rights were violated at CCF when he was
"illegally striped search [sic] in the presen[ce] of
approximately 20 officers, and 20 inmates on 16 Feb. 2017
[while] three women officers were in visual presen[ce] seated
at the tables in the day room." (Id.) Plaintiff
seeks $80, 000, 000 from Commissioner Bryson, $8, 000, 000
from Warden Hall, and $8, 000, 000 from Judge Blanchard.
Standard for Screening
amended complaint or any portion thereof may be dismissed if
it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune to such relief. See
28 U.S.C §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b). A claim is
frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis either in law
or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319,
325 (1989). "Failure to state a claim under §
1915(e)(2)(B)(h) is governed by the same standard as
dismissal for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6)." Wilkerson v. H & S, Inc., 366
Fed.Appx. 49, 51 (11th Cir. 2010) (citing Mitchell v.
Farcass, 112 F.3d 1483, 1490(1 lth Cir. 1997)).
avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted, the allegations in the complaint must
"state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face." Bell Atl.Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
570 (2007). "A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). That is, "[f]actual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above
the speculative level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555. While Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
does not require detailed factual allegations, "it
demands more than an unadorned,
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. A complaint is insufficient
if it "offers 'labels and conclusions' or 'a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action,
'" or if it "tenders 'naked assertions'
devoid of 'further factual enhancement.'"
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555,
557). In short, the complaint must provide a '"plain
statement' possess[ing] enough heft to 'sho[w] that
the pleader is entitled to relief" Twombly, 550
U.S. at 557 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).
the court affords a liberal construction to a, pro
se litigant's pleadings, holding them to a more
lenient standard than those drafted by an attorney.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007);
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). However,
this liberal construction does not mean that the court has a
duty to re-write the amended complaint. Snow v. DirecTV,
Inc., 450 F.3d 1314, 1320 (11th Cir. 2006).
Plaintiff Fails to State a Claim against ...