United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Macon Division
ROBERT R. FORD, Petitioner,
JAMES D. SMITH, et al., Respondents.
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
T. TREADWELL, JUDGE.
case is currently before the Court for preliminary screening
as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Petitioner
Robert R. Ford, an inmate confined at the Augusta State
Medical Prison in Grovetown, Georgia, filed the
above-captioned case seeking a writ of mandamus. Mot. for
Writ of Mandamus, Jan. 4, 2018, ECF No. 1. Thereafter,
Petitioner filed three motions to amend his initial petition.
Mot. for Leave to File Amended Compl., Jan. 30, 2018; Second
Mot. for Writ of Mandamus, Feb. 2, 2018, ECF No. 4; Mot. for
Leave to File an Amended Compl., Feb. 16, 2018, ECF No. 5.
Petitioner has also filed a motion for leave to proceed
without prepayment of the filing fee. Mot. for Leave to
Proceed In Forma Pauperis, ECF No. 6.
due consideration, Petitioner's motion to proceed in
forma pauperis is GRANTED. The Court
finds, however, that Petitioner's motion for a writ of
mandamus fails to state a non-frivolous claim for relief. The
motion is thus DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE
pursuant to § 1915A(b).
Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
court of the United States may authorize the commencement a
civil action, without prepayment of the required filing fee
(in forma pauperis), if the petitioner shows that he
is indigent and financially unable to pay the court's
filing fee. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). A prisoner
wishing to proceed under § 1915 must provide the
district court with both (1) an affidavit in support of his
claim of indigence, and (2) a certified copy of his prison
“trust fund account statement (or institutional
equivalent) for the 6-month period immediately preceding the
filing of the complaint.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b).
to this provision, Petitioner has moved for leave to proceed
without prepayment of the $350.00 filing fee, and his
submissions show that he is currently unable to prepay any
portion of the filing fee. Petitioner's motion to proceed
in forma pauperis, ECF No. 6, is thus
GRANTED. Petitioner is, however, still
obligated to eventually pay the full balance of the filing
fee, in installments, as set forth in § 1915(b) and
explained below. The district court's filing fee is not
refundable, regardless of the outcome of the case, and must
therefore be paid in full even if the petitioner's
complaint is dismissed prior to service.
this reason, the CLERK is
DIRECTED to forward a copy of this Order to
the business manager of the facility in which Petitioner is
incarcerated so that withdrawals from his account may
commence as payment towards the filing fee.
Directions to Plaintiff's Custodian
Petitioner has now been granted leave to proceed in forma
pauperis in the above-captioned case, it is hereby
ORDERED that the warden of the institution
wherein Petitioner is incarcerated, or the Sheriff of any
county wherein he is held in custody, and any successor
custodians, each month cause to be remitted to the
CLERK of this Court twenty percent (20%) of
the preceding month's income credited to Petitioner's
trust account at said institution until the $350.00 filing
fee has been paid in full. The funds shall be collected and
withheld by the prison account custodian who shall, on a
monthly basis, forward the amount collected as payment
towards the filing fee, provided the amount in the
prisoner's account exceeds $10.00. The custodian's
collection of payments shall continue until the entire fee
has been collected, notwithstanding the dismissal of
Petitioner's lawsuit or the granting of judgment against
him prior to the collection of the full filing fee.
Petitioner's Obligations Upon Release
event Petitioner is hereafter released from the custody of
the State of Georgia or any county thereof, he remains
obligated to continue making monthly payments to the
CLERK toward the balance due until said
amount has been paid in full. Collection from Petitioner of
any balance due on the filing fee by any means permitted by
law is hereby authorized in the event Petitioner is released
from custody and fails to remit payments. Petitioner's
complaint may be dismissed if he is able to make payments but
fails to do so.
Authority & Standard for Preliminary
Court is now obligated to conduct a preliminary review of
Petitioner's petition for a writ of mandamus.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a) (requiring the
screening of prisoner cases) & 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)
(regarding in forma pauperis proceedings). When
performing this review, the district court must accept all
factual allegations in the pleading as true. Brown v.
Johnson, 387 F.3d 1344, 1347 (11th Cir. 2004). Pro
se pleadings are also “held to a less stringent
standard than pleadings drafted by attorneys, ” and
thus, pro se claims are “liberally
construed.” Tannenbaum v. United States, 148
F.3d 1262, 1263 (11th Cir. 1998). Still, the Court must
dismiss a prisoner complaint if it “(1) is frivolous,
malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. §1915A(b).
is frivolous if it “lacks an arguable basis either in
law or in fact.” Miller v. Donald, 541 F.3d
1091, 1100 (11th Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks
omitted). The Court may dismiss claims that are based on
“indisputably meritless legal” theories and
“claims whose factual contentions are clearly
baseless.” Id. (internal quotation marks
omitted). A complaint fails to state a claim if it does not
include “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)). The factual allegations in a complaint
“must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level” and cannot “merely create a
suspicion [of] a legally cognizable right of action.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (first alteration in
original). In other words, the complaint must allege
enough facts ...