United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
STAN BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE. SOUTHERN DISTRICT
who is currently housed at Georgia State Prison in
Reidsville, Georgia, filed a cause of action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983, contesting certain conditions of his
confinement. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff also filed a Motion for
Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis. (Doc. 2.) For
the reasons which follow, the Court DENIES
Plaintiff's Motion. For these same reasons, I
RECOMMEND that the Court DISMISS
without prejudice Plaintiff's Complaint,
DIRECT the Clerk of Court to
CLOSE this case and enter the appropriate
judgment of dismissal, and DENY Plaintiff
leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal.
Complaint, Plaintiff asserts Defendants have denied him
adequate housing and placed him in an unsafe cell and prison
conditions. (Doc. 1, p. 5.) Plaintiff also asserts he is
being denied breathing treatments for which he has a medical
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) (per curiam). 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 . . .
.”) (emphasis omitted) (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 for Abuse of Judicial Process
Complaint form directly asks Plaintiff whether he has
“brought any lawsuits in federal court”
“[w]hile incarcerated or detained in any
facility” prior to his current filing. (Doc. 1, p.
2.) Plaintiff marked the blank for “No.”
(Id.) However, a search of Plaintiff's
litigation history reveals that he has filed several other
causes of action prior to executing his Complaint on June 20,
2018: (1) Compl., Smith v. Dopson, 5:95-cv-00512
(M.D. Ga. Dec. 6, 1995), ECF No. 1; (2) Compl., Smith v.
Wilson, 5:96-cv-00039 (M.D. Ga. Feb. 1, 1996), ECF No.
1; (3) Compl., Smith v. Burgess, 1:00-cv-02669
(N.D.Ga. Oct. 10, 2000), ECF No. 1; and (4) Compl., Smith v.
DeKalb Cty. Jail, 1:07-cv-00317 (N.D.Ga. Feb. 5, 2007),
ECF No. 1.
previously stated, Section 1915 requires a court to dismiss a
prisoner's action if, at any time, the court determines
that it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim, or
seeks relief from an immune defendant. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). Significantly, “[a] finding that the
plaintiff engaged in bad faith litigiousness or manipulative
tactics warrants dismissal” under Section 1915.
Redmon v. Lake Cty. Sheriff's Office, 414
Fed.Appx. 221, 225 (11th Cir. 2011) (per curiam) (alteration
in original) (quoting Attwood v. Singletary, 105
F.3d 610, 613 (11th Cir. 1997)). In addition, Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 11(c) permits a court to impose sanctions,
including dismissal, for “knowingly fil[ing] a pleading
that contains false contentions.” Id. at
225-26 (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(c)). Again, although pro
se pleadings are to be construed liberally, “a
plaintiff's pro se status will not excuse
mistakes regarding procedural rules.” Id. at
on this authority, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh
Circuit has consistently upheld the dismissal of cases where
a pro se prisoner plaintiff has failed to disclose
his previous lawsuits as required on the face of the Section
1983 complaint form. See, e.g., Redmon, 414
Fed.Appx. at 226 (pro se prisoner's
nondisclosure of prior litigation in Section 1983 complaint
amounted to abuse of judicial process resulting in sanction
of dismissal); Shelton v. Rohrs, 406 Fed.Appx. 340,
341 (11th Cir. 2010) (per curiam) (same); Young v.
Sec'y Fla. for Dep't of Corr., 380 Fed.Appx.
939, 941 (11th Cir. 2010) (per curiam) (same); Hood v.
Tompkins, 197 Fed.Appx. 818, 819 (11th Cir. 2006) (per
curiam) (same). Even where the prisoner has later provided an
explanation for his lack of candor, the Court has generally
rejected the proffered reason as unpersuasive. See,
e.g., Redmon, 414 Fed.Appx. at 226 (“The
district court did not abuse its discretion in concluding
that Plaintiff's explanation for his failure to disclose
the Colorado lawsuit-that he misunderstood the form-did not
excuse the misrepresentation and that dismissal was a proper
sanction.”); Shelton, 406 Fed.Appx. at 341
(“Even if [the plaintiff] did not have access to his
materials, he would have known that he filed multiple
previous lawsuits.”); Young, 380 Fed.Appx. at
941 (finding that not having documents concerning prior
litigation and not being able to pay for copies of same did
not absolve ...