United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Columbus Division
D. LAND CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
case is currently before the Court for screening as required
by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Plaintiff Tommy McNeal, an inmate
confined at the Muscogee County Jail, filed the
above-captioned proceeding seeking relief under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 and requested to proceed without the prepayment
of filing fees. For the following reasons, Plaintiff's
complaint is hereby DISMISSED without
Motion to Proceed In Form Pauperis
Plaintiff was previously granted in forma pauperis
status, Plaintiff is still obligated to pay the full balance
of the filing fee, in installments, as set forth in 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b) and explained below. It is thus requested that
the CLERK forward a copy of this
ORDER to the business manager of the
facility in which Plaintiff is incarcerated so that
withdrawals from his account may commence as payment toward
the filing fee.
Directions to Plaintiff's Custodian
hereby ORDERED that the warden of the
institution wherein Plaintiff 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 Plaintiff's account at
said institution until the $350.00 filing fee ($328.88
remaining) has been paid in full. In accordance with the
provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act,
Plaintiff's custodian is hereby authorized to forward
payments from the prisoner's account to the Clerk of
Court each month until the filing fee is paid in full,
provided the amount in the account exceeds $10.00. It is
further ORDERED that collection of monthly
payments from Plaintiff's trust fund account shall
continue until the entire $350.00 has been collected,
notwithstanding the dismissal of Plaintiff's lawsuit or
the granting of judgment against him prior to the collection
of the full filing fee.
Plaintiff's Obligations Upon Release
to provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, in the
event Plaintiff is hereafter released from the custody of the
State of Georgia or any county thereof, he shall remain
obligated to pay any balance due on the filing fee in this
proceeding until said amount has been paid in full; Plaintiff
shall continue to remit monthly payments as required by the
Prison Litigation Reform Act. Collection from Plaintiff of
any balance due on the filing fee by any means permitted by
law is hereby authorized in the event Plaintiff is released
from custody and fails to remit payments. Plaintiff's
complaint is subject to dismissal if he has the ability to
make monthly payments and fails to do so.
Preliminary Review of Plaintiff's
Standard for Preliminary Review
Plaintiff is a pretrial detainee proceeding under Section
1983 and seeks to proceed in forma pauperis in this action,
his complaint is subject to screening under 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e) & 1915A which require a district
court to dismiss any complaint that is frivolous, malicious,
or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
When conducting a preliminary review, the district court must
accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true and
make all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor.
See Brown v. Johnson, 387 F.3d 1344, 1347 (11th Cir.
2004) (stating that allegations in the complaint must be
viewed as true). Pro se pleadings are also
“held to a less stringent standard than pleadings
drafted by attorneys, ” and a pro se complaint
is thus “liberally construed.” Tannenbaum v.
United States, 148 F.3d 1262, 1263 (11th Cir. 1998) (per
curiam). The district court, however, cannot allow a
plaintiff to litigate frivolous, conclusory, or speculative
claims. As part of the preliminary screening, the court shall
dismiss a complaint, or any part thereof, prior to service,
if it is apparent that the plaintiff's claims are
frivolous or if his allegations fail to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted - i.e., that the plaintiff is not
entitled to relief based on the facts alleged. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
state a viable claim, the complaint must include
“enough factual matter” to “give the
defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atlantic Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (alteration in
original) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47
(1957)). There must also be “enough facts to raise a
reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal
evidence” to prove the claim. Id. at 556. The
claims cannot be speculative or based solely on beliefs or
suspicions; each must be supported by allegations of relevant
and discoverable fact. Id. Thus, neither legal
conclusions nor a recitation of legally relevant terms,
standing alone, is sufficient to survive preliminary review.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(“A pleading that offers ‘labels and
conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.'”)
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Claims without
an arguable basis in law or fact will be dismissed as
frivolous. See Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319,
325 (1989); accord Bilal v. Driver, 251 F.3d 1346,
1349 (11th Cir. 2001) (noting that claims are frivolous if
“clearly baseless” or based upon
“indisputably meritless” legal theories).
events underlying Plaintiff's complaint occurred
“on or about” January 4, 2018. Compl. 5, ECF No.
1. According to Plaintiff, on that date the members of the
Columbus Police Department arrested Plaintiff and transferred
him to Midtown Medical Center where medical staff treated
Plaintiff's “serious illness.” Id.
Although Plaintiff arrived at the medical center fully
clothed, Plaintiff realized his pants, belt, shoes, and
underwear were missing when he “finally was aware of
[his] surroundings.” Id. The medical staff
told Plaintiff that he changed into a pair of medical pants
when he arrived, they placed his belongings in a ...