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Dempsey v. Brunswick P.D.

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

December 19, 2017

GEORGE DEMPSEY,[1] Plaintiff,
v.
BRUNSWICK P.D.; STATE OF GEORGIA; and GLYNN COUNTY, GEORGIA, Defendants.

          ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          R. STAN BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff, currently detained at Glynn County Detention Center in Brunswick, Georgia, filed a cause of action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1.) For the following reasons, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis before this Court. (Doc. 3.) Further, I RECOMMEND that the Court DISMISS without prejudice Plaintiff's Complaint, DISMISS AS MOOT all other pending Motions, DIRECT the Clerk of Court to CLOSE this case and enter the appropriate judgment of dismissal, and DENY Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal.

         PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS

         Plaintiff claims that Defendants violated his Fourth Amendment rights during a traffic stop by the Brunswick Police Department on September 7, 2017. (Doc. 1, p. 5.) Plaintiff further alleges that Defendants violated his rights by not timely providing him with a probable cause hearing and falsely arresting and charging him. (Id. at pp. 5-6.)

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Plaintiff seeks to bring this action in forma pauperis under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 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 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).

         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)).

         In its 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 without counsel.”).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Dismissal for Abuse of Judicial Process

         In his Complaint, Plaintiff indicates that he had not previously initiated any lawsuits in federal court while incarcerated or detained. (Doc. 1, pp. 2-3.) The Complaint form directly asks Plaintiff about the existence of prior lawsuits, to which Plaintiff clearly checked the box marked “No” and then proceeded to leave blank the several follow-up questions regarding prior lawsuits. (Id.) However, the case management system shows that Plaintiff has brought numerous actions and appeals while incarcerated. A non-exhaustive list of these cases includes:

1) Order, Jackson v. Chatman, No. 5:09-cv-203 (M.D. Ga. Jul. 22, 2010), ECF No. 33 (dismissal for failure to exhaust);
2) Order, Dempsey v. Elmore, et al., No. 4:07-cv-141 (S.D. Ga. Mar. 23, 2010), ECF No. 185 (granting defendants' motions for summary ...

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