United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Waycross Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
STAN BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
currently detained at the Coffee County Jail in Douglas,
Georgia, submitted a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. (Doc. 1.) For the reasons set forth below, I
RECOMMEND that the Court
GRANT Plaintiff's Motion to Voluntarily
Dismiss Defendant McGee, (doc. 8), and DISMISS
without prejudice Defendant McGee. I also
RECOMMEND the Court DISMISS
Plaintiff's case for failure to state a claim,
DIRECT the Clerk of Court to enter the
appropriate judgment of dismissal and CLOSE
this case, and DENY Plaintiff in forma
pauperis status on appeal.
claims that he has been detained at the Coffee County Jail
since April 25, 2017, and has not received any hearing, been
indicted on any charges, or spoken to his attorney, Defendant
McGee. (Doc. 1, p. 4.) As relief, Plaintiff would like his
“charges dismissed and to be reimbursed [for] money . .
. spent on commissary and phone calls . . . .”
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, 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
Heck v. Humphrey
indicates that he is currently a pre-trial detainee and
appears to have some charges pending against him, as he
requests those charges be dismissed. (Doc. 1, p. 4.) However,
Plaintiff also simultaneously alleges that he has yet to be
indicted. (Id.) What is clear is that Plaintiff has
not yet been convicted and that any potential conviction has
not been reversed, expunged, invalidated, called into
question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of
habeas corpus, or otherwise overturned. As such, this Court
is precluded from reviewing his claims by the decision in
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994).
Heck, a state prisoner filed a Section 1983 damages
action against the prosecutors and investigator in his
criminal case for their actions which resulted in his
conviction. The United States Supreme Court analogized the
plaintiff's claim to a common-law cause of action for
malicious prosecution, which requires as an element of the
claim that the prior criminal proceeding be terminated in
favor of the accused. 512 U.S. at 484. The Supreme Court
We think the hoary principle that civil tort actions are not
appropriate vehicles for challenging the validity of
outstanding criminal judgments applies to § 1983 damages
actions that necessarily require the plaintiff to prove the
unlawfulness of his conviction or confinement, just as it has