United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Waycross Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
STAN BAKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
currently housed at Coffee County Jail in Douglas, Georgia,
filed this cause of action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
contesting certain conditions of his confinement and the
criminal proceedings against him. (Doc. 1.) For the reasons
that follow, the Court DENIES
Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma
Pauperis. (Doc. 2.) Furthermore, I
RECOMMEND the Court DISMISS with
prejudice Plaintiff's claims against Defendants
Doe and Hue, DISMISS without prejudice the
remainder of Plaintiff's Complaint,
DIRECT the Clerk of Court to
CLOSE this case and enter the appropriate
judgment of dismissal, and DENY Plaintiff
leave to appeal in forma pauperis.
filed this cause of action on October 25, 2017, along with a
Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis.
(Docs. 1, 2.) In his Complaint, Plaintiff asserts several
unrelated claims. Plaintiff, a pretrial detainee, alleges
that he was denied due process by Defendants when he was
indicted without being served warrants. (Doc. 1, pp. 3-5.)
While Plaintiff was being held at Ben Hill County Jail during
March 2016, he asserts that he was attacked several times by
unnamed officers and inmates, and verbally assaulted by an
unnamed Captain and Major. (Id. at p. 5.) Plaintiff
also alleges that inmates attacked him and states that these
attacks left him with severe neck and back trauma.
(Id. at p. 5.) Plaintiff filed no grievance, but
Plaintiff explains he “did not file a grievance because
[his] matter was not with the jail [but with] the county, so
it was not grievable.” (Id. at pp. 7, 8.) As
relief, Plaintiff requests monetary damages for the physical
and emotional harm he suffered. (Id. at p. 5.)
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. §
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.
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 under Judicial Immunity
immunity bars Plaintiff's claims against Defendant Hue.
Congress did not abrogate the doctrine of judicial immunity
when it enacted Section 1983. Judicial immunity is an
absolute immunity, and it applies even when a judge acts
maliciously. Bolin v. Story, 225 F.3d 1234, 1239
(11th Cir. 2000) (“Judges are entitled to absolute
judicial immunity from damages for those acts taken while
they are acting in their judicial capacity unless they acted
in the clear absence of all jurisdiction.”); Stump
v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 356 (1978) (holding judicial
immunity doctrine applies in Section 1983 actions). Absolute
immunity not only protects against liability but also against
a case going to trial at all. Harris v. Deveaux, 780
F.2d 911, 914 (11th Cir. 1986) (citing Mitchell v.
Forsyth, 472 U.S. 511, 526 (1985)). To determine whether
a judge is entitled to absolute immunity from money damages
under Section 1983, a two-part test was established in
Stump: 1) whether the judge dealt with the plaintiff
in a judicial capacity; and 2) whether the judge acted in the
“clear absence of all jurisdiction.” Id.
(quoting Stump, 435 U.S. at 357). The second prong
of this test is “only satisfied if a judge completely
lacks subject matter jurisdiction.” Id. at
ostensibly complains about the actions of Defendant Hue in
his capacity as a judicial official in a case that was
pending before him in which Plaintiff was a named party.
Nevertheless, Plaintiff fails to make any claim whatsoever
that Defendant Hue acted in the clear absence of
jurisdiction, especially in light of the fact Plaintiff
alleges he was actually indicted. Consequently, the Court
should DISMISS with prejudice
Plaintiff's Section 1983 claims against Defendant Hue
based on judicial immunity principles.
Dismissal under ...