United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Brunswick Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
STAN BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
currently incarcerated at Appling County Detention Center in
Baxley, Georgia, filed a cause of action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983, contesting current criminal proceedings
against him. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff also filed a Motion for
Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis. (Doc. 4.) For
the reasons that follow, the Court DENIES
Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma
Pauperis. Furthermore, I RECOMMEND that
the Court DISMISS with prejudice
Plaintiff's claims against Defendant,
DIRECT the Clerk of Court to enter the
appropriate judgment of dismissal and to
CLOSE this case, and DENY
Plaintiff leave to appeal in forma
asserts that on January 14, 2018, at 10:36 p.m., Defendant
violated his due process rights by prohibiting him from
challenging the personal jurisdiction of the State of
Georgia. (Doc. 1, p. 5.) Plaintiff argues Defendant failed to
“protect” his right to challenge personal
jurisdiction. (Id.) As relief, Plaintiff ostensibly
seeks an injunction but is unclear as to what that injunction
should remedy. (Id. at pp. 1, 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 Fed.Appx. 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 Eleventh Amendment Immunity
seeks injunctive relief against Defendant Superior Court of
Appling County, Georgia. As an instrumentality of the State of
Georgia, a suit against the Appling County Superior Court
would be the same as a suit against the State of Georgia.
“The Eleventh Amendment insulates a state from suit
brought by individuals in federal court unless the state
either consents to suit or waives its Eleventh Amendment
immunity.” Stevens v. Gay, 864 F.2d 113, 114
(11th Cir. 1989) (footnote omitted) (citing Pennhurst
State Sch. & Hosp. v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 98-100
(1984)). A lawsuit against a state agency or employee in its
official capacity is no different from a suit against a state
itself; such a defendant is immune. Will v. Mich.
Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989)
(holding that the state and its “arms” are not
“persons” amenable to suit under Section 1983).
enacting Section 1983, Congress did not intend to abrogate
“well-established immunities or defenses” under
the common law or the Eleventh Amendment. Id. at 67.
Arms or agencies of the state, such as the Superior Courts
and the Department of Corrections, are therefore immune from
suit. See Alabama v. Pugh, 438 U.S. 781, 782 (1978)
(per curiam) (“There can be no doubt, however, that
suit against the State and its Board of Corrections is barred
by the Eleventh Amendment, unless [Georgia] has consented to
the filing of such a suit.”); Edelman v.
Jordan, 415 U.S. 651, 663 (1974); Pugh v.
Balish, 564 Fed.Appx. 1010, 1013 (11th Cir. 2014)
(“In addition, the Eleventh Amendment bars
[plaintiff's] claims against the [superior court judge],
since [plaintiff] is suing a state official, in federal
court, for damages resulting from actions taken by the judge
in his official capacity.”); Stevens, 864 F.2d
at 115 (Georgia Department of Corrections is barred from suit
by Eleventh Amendment).
the State of Georgia would be the real party in interest in a
suit against the Appling County Superior Court, the Eleventh
Amendment immunizes Defendant from suit even though Plaintiff
only seeks injunctive relief. Additionally, the exception
under Ex parte Young is inapplicable here because
Plaintiff is suing an entity of the state itself rather than
a state officer in his or her official
capacity. Thus, the Court ...