United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Brunswick Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
STAN BAKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
filed a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to
contest certain events occurring in McIntosh County, Georgia.
(Doc. 1.) Plaintiff also filed a Motion to Proceed in
Forma Pauperis. (Doc. 2.) This Court deferred ruling on
Plaintiff's Motion by Order dated August 25, 2017, as the
Court could not ascertain whether Plaintiff had the ability
to pay the requisite filing fee based on his Motion alone.
(Doc. 4.) The Court ordered Plaintiff to correct the
deficiencies in his Motion or to pay the entire filing fee
within fourteen (14) days of its Order and warned Plaintiff
that his failure to do so would result in the dismissal of
his Complaint. (Id. at pp. 2-3.)
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 without
prejudice Plaintiff's Complaint based on his
failure to follow this Court's Order and
DIRECT the Clerk of Court to
CLOSE this case and enter the appropriate
judgment of dismissal. Additionally, I
RECOMMEND the Court DENY
Plaintiff leave to appeal in forma pauperis.
brings his Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In
his Complaint, Plaintiff asserts Defendants violated his
right to due process by refusing to provide him with any
information about his case. (Doc. 1, pp. 3-4.) Plaintiff
contends he was denied the ability to enter a plea in
McIntosh County Superior Court and was removed from court and
told not to return after he requested information concerning
his indictment. Plaintiff also contends he was told he would
get a portion of his bail refunded to him once he appeared in
court. (Id. at 4.) Plaintiff seeks to have his bail
amount returned to him and to be reimbursed for his travel
from New York to Georgia for court appearances. (Id.
at p. 5.)
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. . .
.”) (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 for Failure to Follow this Court's
noted above, the Court directed Plaintiff to either complete
and return the required documents to proceed in forma
pauperis or to pay the entire filing fee within fourteen
(14) days of its August 25, 2017, Order. (Doc. 4, pp. 2-3.)
Plaintiff was cautioned that his failure “to
complete and return the required documents by
September 9, 2017, or pay the entire
fee” would cause the Court to “presume
that Plaintiff does not intend to pursue this action and will
dismiss this case without prejudice.”
(Id. at p. 2 (emphases in original).) Subsequent to
that Order, Plaintiff filed two “Affidavits of
Fact”. (Docs. 6, 7.) Nothing in these filings is
responsive to this Court's Order. Additionally, Plaintiff
failed to move to proceed in forma pauperis using
the forms attached to that Order, and he failed to pay the
entire filing fee.
district court may dismiss a plaintiff's claims sua
sponte pursuant to either Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 41(b) (“Rule 41(b)”) or the court's
inherent authority to manage its docket. Link v. Wabash
R.R. Co., 370 U.S. 626 (1962); Coleman v. St. Lucie
Cty. Jail, 433 F. App'x 716, 718 (11th Cir. 2011)
(citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b) and Betty K Agencies, Ltd. v.
M/V MONADA, 432 F.3d 1333, 1337 (11th Cir. 2005)). In
particular, Rule 41(b) allows for the involuntary dismissal
of a plaintiff's claims where he has failed to prosecute
those claims, comply with the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure or local rules, or follow a court order.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b); see also Coleman, 433 F.
App'x at 718; Sanders v. Barrett, No. 05-12660,
2005 WL 2640979, at *1 (11th Cir. Oct. 17, 2005) (citing
Kilgo v. Ricks, 983 F.2d 189, 192 (11th Cir. 1993));
cf. Local R. 41.1(b) (“[T]he assigned Judge
may, after notice to counsel of record, sua sponte .
. . dismiss any action for want of prosecution, with or
without prejudice[, ] . . . [based on] willful disobedience
or neglect of any order of the Court.” (emphasis