United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Brunswick Division
LISA GODBEY WOOD, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
before the Court are the Magistrate Judge's April 17,
2018 Report and Recommendation, dkt. no. 9, to which
Plaintiff did not file Objections, and Plaintiff's
Amended Complaint, dkt. no. 10. For the reasons set forth
below, after an independent and de novo review of
the record, including Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, the
undersigned concurs with the Magistrate Judge's Report
and Recommendation. Accordingly, the Court
ADOPTS the Report and Recommendation of the
Magistrate Judge, as supplemented herein, as the opinion of
Court DISMISSES Plaintiff's Amended
Complaint, DENIES Plaintiff leave to proceed
in forma pauperis on appeal, and
DIRECTS the Clerk of Court to enter the
appropriate judgment of dismissal and to
CLOSE this case.
a prisoner at the Federal Correctional Institution in Estill,
South Carolina, filed a cause of action pursuant to
Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of
Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), to contest certain
events that occurred while he was incarcerated at the Federal
Correctional Institution in Jesup, Georgia. Dkt. No. 1. In
short, Plaintiff alleged that Defendant violated his
constitutional due process rights by not properly filing
Plaintiff s accident compensation claim, by not adhering to
certain Federal Bureau of Prisons regulations regarding the
investigation and reporting of prison work detail accidents,
and by destroying evidence of Plaintiff's accident.
Id. at pp. 4-6. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A,
Magistrate Judge R. Stan Baker conducted the requisite
frivolity review of Plaintiff's Complaint. Dkt. No. 9. In
the resulting Report and Recommendation, Judge Baker
recommended that the Court dismiss Plaintiff's procedural
due process claims due to a lack of standing and ripeness.
Id. at pp. 6-15. Judge Baker also dismissed as moot
Plaintiff's Motion for Court Filings. Id. at p.
1; Dkt. No. 7.
then filed an Amended Complaint in response to Judge
Baker's Report and Recommendation but did not file
Objections. Dkt. no. 10. In his Amended Complaint, Plaintiff
realleges the facts and claims from his original complaint
and adds an additional due process claim against Defendant
regarding Plaintiff's presumed right to an immediately
payable "lump-sum award" stemming from the injuries
he sustained in a prison workplace accident. Id. at
pp. 10-11. Compare Dkt. No. 1, pp. 4-5
(Plaintiff's original claims), with Dkt. No. 10,
pp. 8-10 (Plaintiff's original claims reasserted).
essence, to remedy the original Complaint's standing and
ripeness deficiencies identified by Judge Baker, Plaintiff
attempts to show that Defendant's alleged due process
violations caused him an injury in fact, not because
Defendant's misconduct precludes Plaintiff from accident
compensation upon release from prison, dkt no. 1, pp. 4-6,
but because Defendant's misconduct caused Plaintiff to be
forever precluded from the "monetary lump-sum
award" to which he was "entitled, " dkt. no.
10, p. 10. To that end, Plaintiff argues Defendant's due
process violations caused Plaintiff to forfeit his purported
rights under the Inmate Accident Compensation Program
("IACP"), 28 C.F.R. § 301.101-319, and the
Federal Employees' Compensation Act ("FECA"), 5
U.S.C. § 8101-107, to an award of $1, 984, 010.00.
Id. at pp. 10-11.
brings 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 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. § 1915A(b).
reviewing a complaint brought 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
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 A 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 without counsel.").
Plaintiff s ...