United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER BLOCKER and BENITA C. BLOCKER, P.O.A, Plaintiffs,
DANIEL J. CRAIG; REBECCA “ASHLEY” WRIGHT; JAMES G. BLANCHARD, JR.; HUGH MORRIS HADDEN; TANYA JEFFORDS; and ALEXIA DAVIS, Defendants.
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EPPS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Michael Christopher Blocker, an inmate at Ware State Prison
in Waycross, Georgia, and Plaintiff Benita C. Blocker are
proceeding pro se in this case filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 regarding events alleged to have occurred in
Augusta, Georgia. They have paid the $400.00 filing fee.
Notwithstanding the payment of the filing fee, the case or
any portion thereof may be dismissed if it is frivolous,
malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or if it seeks monetary relief from a defendant who
is immune to such relief. See Leal v. Georgia Dep't of
Corr., 254 F.3d 1276, 1277-78 (11th Cir. 2001) (per curiam);
28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
COMPLAINT IS SUBJECT TO SCREENING UNDER § 1915A
U.S.C. § 1915A(a) states, “The court shall review,
before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as
practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity.” Mr.
Blocker is currently incarcerated in Ware State Prison. (Doc.
no. 1, p. 3.) As discussed below, Plaintiffs seek relief
against Defendants as officers or employees of governmental
entities for their roles in his 2008 trial. (See generally
doc. no. 1.) Thus, based on the plain language of §
1915A(a), the complaint is subject to screening because
Plaintiffs, one of whom is a prisoner, seek redress from
officers and employees of a governmental entity therein.
although she is listed as a separate Plaintiff, the parties
apparently intend Ms. Blocker to represent Mr. Blocker in
this lawsuit because Ms. Blocker mailed the filing from her
residence, (id. at 2, 15), there are no facts related to Ms.
Blocker in the complaint, (id. at 5-12), and she is
designated as having power of attorney, (id. at 1-2, 13-14).
However, there is no indication Ms. Blocker is an attorney,
and a non-attorney may not represent another party in federal
28 U.S.C. § 1654, “In all courts of the United
States the parties may plead and conduct their own cases
personally or by counsel as, by the rules of such courts,
respectively, are permitted to manage and conduct causes
therein.” “The existence of a power of attorney
does not authorize a nonlawyer to undertake to conduct legal
proceedings on behalf of a pro se litigant where the law
otherwise requires that such proceedings be conducted by a
licensed attorney.” Stewart v. Moses, No. 7:14-CV-34
HL, 2014 WL 2986730, at *1 (M.D. Ga. July 2, 2014). Under
Georgia law, a person granted a power of attorney who is not
a lawyer may not represent other parties as such would be the
unauthorized practice of law. See O.C.G.A § 15-19-51(a);
Toenniges v. Steed, 739 S.E.2d 94, 95 (Ga.Ct.App. 2013).
Thus, Ms. Blocker may not represent Mr. Blocker in this
to the extent Ms. Blocker seeks to bring the claims set forth
in the complaint on behalf of Mr. Blocker as his
representative, the complaint would still be subject to
screening because of the nature of the claim. See In re
Prison Litigation Reform Act, 105 F.3d 1131, 1134 (6th
Cir. 1997) (“District courts are requires to screen all
civil cases brought by prisoners, regardless of whether the
inmate . . . is represented by counsel . . . .”) Thus,
Ms. Blocker's presence in this lawsuit does not alter the
fundamental character of the claims set forth therein, and,
thus, screening pursuant to § 1915A is appropriate.
SCREENING OF THE COMPLAINT
complaint, Plaintiffs name the following Defendants: (1)
Daniel J. Craig; (2) Rebecca “Ashley” Wright; (3)
Judge James G. Blanchard, Jr.; (4) Hugh Morris Hadden; (5)
Tanya Jeffords; and (6) Alexia Davis. (See doc. no.
1, pp. 1, 3-5.) Taking all of Plaintiffs' factual
allegations as true, as the Court must for purposes of the
present screening, the facts are as follows.
Craig, who was serving as District Attorney, obtained a grand
jury indictment against Mr. Blocker without a DNA expert to
confirm Mr. Blocker's DNA and despite reasonable doubt as
to Mr. Blocker's guilt. (Id. at 6-7.) Ms.
Wright, who was serving as an Assistant District Attorney,
“interrupted due process and stole fair trial by jury
on third day of trial.” (Id. at 6.) Defendants
Hadden, Jeffords, and Davis are criminal defense attorneys
appointed to represent Mr. Blocker. (Id.) They
“office interrupted due process and stole fair trial by
jury” by convincing Mr. Blocker to sign a plea
agreement, under which Mr. Blocker would only plead guilty to
burglary, on the third day of trial. (Id. at 6-7.)
However, the plea agreement was fake. (Id. at 7.)
Judge Blanchard sentenced Mr. Blocker to “life plus two
twenties” under the recidivism statute even though Mr.
Blocker did not agree to the sentence and is innocent of the
three charges forming the basis of his qualification under
the recidivism statute. (Id. at 7.) Mr. Blocker
informed Judge Blanchard he was under the influence of
medication prior to sentencing. (Id.) Mr. Blocker
waited in jail an entire year for a trial by jury, but his
fair trial and due process were taken from him.
(Id.) As a result, Mr. Blocker suffered depression,
court costs, overmedication, intentional infliction of
emotional distress, and loss of: (1) all personal property;
(2) employment; (3) both parents' funerals; and (4) time
spent with his family and raising his son. (Id. at
seek as relief: (1) release from incarceration; (2) a trial
by jury; (3) expungement of all criminal charges; (4)
reimbursement of all court fees; and (5) $6 million dollars
in restitution. (Id.)