United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
STAN BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
currently incarcerated at Georgia State Prison in Reidsville,
Georgia, submitted a Complaint, as amended, pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 4.) For the reasons set forth
below, I RECOMMEND that the Court
DISMISS Plaintiff's Amended Complaint
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.
is on the Tier II program and as a result, all his
property-including legal work-is removed to the property
room. (Id. at p. 4.) On March 15, 2016, Defendant
McCloud logged Plaintiff's property out of the room and
gave it to Plaintiff even though it “was not suppose[d]
to be out [of the] property room.” (Id.) That
same night, Plaintiff was moved to the “self-harm
room” without his property. (Id.) This
property was never logged back into the property room, and
Plaintiff has been unable to recover his legal materials
since that date. (Id. at p. 5.) Plaintiff claims
that, because he did not have access to his legal work, he
could not “get [his] case back into court . . .
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
Access to the Courts Claim
appears to allege that Defendants frustrated his ability to
access the courts by losing his legal materials. (Doc. 4, pp.
4-5.) “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 claim, an inmate must establish
that he suffered an actual injury. In interpreting the actual
injury requirement, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
The actual injury which the inmate must demonstrate is an
injury to the right asserted, i.e. the right of access. Thus,
the . . . official's actions which allegedly infringed on
an inmate's right of access to the courts must have
frustrated or impeded the inmate's efforts to pursue a
nonfrivolous legal claim. See Lewis [v. Casey, 518
U.S. [343, 352-54 (1996)]. Further, the legal claim must be
an appeal from a conviction for ...