United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
pro se and in forma pauperis, Jabbar
Williams brings this action against various state judicial
and quasi-judicial officials, attorneys, the Garden City
police department and its officers, and the Chatham County
Counter Narcotic Team contending that his state criminal
prosecution is unlawful. Doc. 1 at 1-110 & doc. 3 at 1-60
& doc. 4 at 1-5. He also seeks leave to proceed in
forma pauperis (IFP), but it is not clear that the
application is submitted on his own or both plaintiffs'
behalves. See doc. 2. The Court therefore cannot
evaluate plaintiffs' abilities to pay the filing fee. The
Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to provide
plaintiffs with a blank IFP application forms. Plaintiffs
must individually complete and return their
respective forms, sworn under penalty of perjury to be true
and correct, within 14 days of service of this Order.
threshold problem arises before the Court can preliminarily
screen their Complaint:
Every pleading, written motion, and other paper must be
signed by at least one attorney of record in the
attorney's name -- or by a party personally if the party
is unrepresented. . . . The court must strike an unsigned
paper unless the omission is promptly corrected after being
called to the attorney's or party's attention.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(a).
Jabbar Williams has signed the Complaint, the Amended
Complaints, and the IFP application. Doc. 1 at 4-5 & 20; doc.
2 at 4; doc. 3 at 56-59; doc. 4 at 5. Because each plaintiff
here is proceeding pro se, neither has any
authority to represent the legal interest of any other party.
See FuQua v. Massey, 615 Fed.Appx. 611 (11th Cir.
2015) (right of parties to appear pro se is limited
to parties conducting their own cases and does not extend to
non-attorney parties representing the interests of other).
This means Williams cannot represent Smith. Each plaintiff
must sign above their own name, thus signifying that they
represent only themselves.
14 days of the date this Order is served, then, the
plaintiffs shall amend their Complaint and individual IFP
applications with a proper signature page. Failure to do so
will likely be fatal to their claim. Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(a)
(courts “must strike an unsigned paper unless the
omission is promptly corrected after being called to the
attorney's or party's attention”). Every filing
thereafter must similarly abide by Rule 11(a)'s signature
requirement. See Bouttry v. United States, 2012 WL
2153961 at *1 (S.D. Ga. June 13, 2012).
finally, a complaint must contain a “short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). While detailed
factual allegations are not required, “[t]hreadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). In other words, a complaint may not simply allege a
wrong has been committed and demand relief. The pleading
standard “demands more than an unadorned,
the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation[;]” the
complaint must contain “sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Id. (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 570). Further, while
factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions
are not. Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at
single-page Third Amended Complaint is bereft of even a hint
of the harm he alleges he suffered or the relief he seeks,
though his statement that he is “totally innocent of
all charges” suggests that he seeks to bring a
malicious prosecution claim against defendants. Doc. 4 at 1.
The flip side of the coin is that a meandering morass of
words --here 170 total pages' worth between docs. 2 and
3, some of which is entirely illegible and much of which is
unorganized by claim or chronology -- violates Rule
8(a)(2)'s admonition as well. The court affords a liberal
construction to a pro se litigant's pleadings,
holding them to a more lenient standard than those drafted by
an attorney. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520
(1972); Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).
This liberal construction does not mean that the court has a
duty to re-write the complaint. Snow v. DirecTV,
Inc., 450 F.3d 1314, 1320 (11th Cir. 2006). Plaintiffs
must amend (and sign) their Third Amended Complaint within 14
days of service of this Order, alleging in as clear and
concise a manner as possible precisely what happened, how
they contend their civil rights have been violated, and what
other claims (if any) they seek to bring.
are advised that their third amended complaint will supersede
the original complaint and therefore must be complete in
itself. Once plaintiffs file a third amended complaint, the
prior pleadings will no longer serve any function in the
case. See Malowney v. Fed. Collection Deposit Grp,
193 F.3d 1342, 1345 n.1 (11th Cir. 1999) (“An amended
complaint supersedes an original complaint”);
Varnes v. Local 91, Glass Bottle Blowers Ass'n of
U.S. & Canada, 674 F.2d 1365, 1370 n.6 (11th Cir.
1982) (“As a general rule, an amended complaint
supersedes and replaces the original complaint unless the
amendment specifically refers to or adopts the earlier
plaintiffs are ORDERED to return their
individual, completed IFP forms and their signed Third
Amended Complaint within 14 days of service of this Order.
Once plaintiffs have complied with the conditions of this
Order, the Court will review their Third Amended Complaint to
determine which, if any, claims are viable and which, if any,
defendants should be served with a copy of the Third Amended
Complaint. If no response is timely received from plaintiffs,
the Court will presume that they desire to have this case
voluntarily dismissed. Failure to comply with this Order
shall result in the recommendation of dismissal of
plaintiffs' case, without prejudice.
 In cases where the plaintiff seeks to
proceed IFP, the Court is required to screen each case and
must dismiss it at any time if the Court determines either
that the allegation of poverty is untrue or that the action
or appeal is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief