United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Waycross Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
STAN BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
who is currently housed at Ware State Prison in Waycross,
Georgia, filed a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
contesting certain conditions of his confinement. (Doc. 1.)
Plaintiff also filed Motions for Leave to Proceed in
Forma Pauperis. (Docs. 2, 2-1.) For the reasons set
forth below, the Court DENIES
Plaintiff's Motions. For these same reasons, I
RECOMMEND the Court DISMISS
Plaintiff's Complaint based on his failure to state a
claim, DIRECT the Clerk of Court to
CLOSE this case and enter the appropriate
judgment of dismissal, and DENY Plaintiff
in forma pauperis status on appeal.
asserts that Defendant Davis, the librarian, gave his
certified mail to Defendant Johnson, in violation of his
rights. (Doc. 1, p. 5.) In addition to Defendants Davis and
Johnson, Plaintiff names several other individuals as
Defendants, from Governor Nathan Deal to Chief Counselor
Bowles, and claims these individuals are responsible for
training and the alleged violation of Plaintiff's rights.
Plaintiff requests $25 million in damages and his immediate
release from prison. (Id. at p. 6.)
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, 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
Claims Against Defendants Davis and Johnson
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.”
asserts that Defendant Davis gave his certified mail to
Defendant Johnson. (Doc. 1, p. 5.) However, Plaintiff fails
to set forth any facts indicating that Defendants Johnson and
Davis committed any act resulting in the violation of
Plaintiff's constitutional rights. Thus, Plaintiff's
claims against Defendants Davis and Johnson should be
DISMISSED based on Plaintiff's failure
to meet the most basic pleading requirement. 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.”); Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678;
Hale, 50 F.3d at 1582.
extent Plaintiff's claims can be read to assert a claim
that Defendants Davis and Johnson interfered with
Plaintiff's legal mail-and thus, his access to the
courts, any such claim is also subject to dismissal.
“Access to the courts is clearly a constitutional
right, grounded in the First Amendment, the Article IV
Privileges and Immunities Clause, the Fifth Amendment, and/or
the Fourteenth Amendment.” Chappell v. Rich,
340 F.3d 1279, 1282 (11th Cir. 2003) (citing Christopher
v. Harbury, 536 U.S. 403, 415 n.12 (2002)). However, to
bring an access to courts ...