Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Faison v. Georgia Department of Corrections

United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Macon Division

June 14, 2019

TIMOTHY ELIJAH FAISON, Plaintiff,
v.
GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORM A PAUPERIS AND DIRECTING WILCOX STATE PRISON TO PRODUCE PLAINTIFF'S ACCOUNT CERTIFICATION

          TILMAN E. SELF, III, JUDGE

         Plaintiff Timothy Elijah Faison, an inmate currently confined at Wilcox State Prison, in Abbeville, Georgia, brings this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging, inter alia, that the Georgia Department of Corrections (“GDC”) violated the Eighth Amendment when it failed “to abide by its own . . . Rules and Regulations” in the transportation of high-risk prisoners. [Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 1, 5, 45]. This purported failure allowed two “high[-]risk” inmates, after boarding a prisoner transport bus, to “pick[ ] their shackles and handcuffs, ” “break through the prison bus gate and seize the guards' firearm [sic], ” murder two prison employees, and escape custody. [Id. at ¶¶ 5, 27-28].

         Plaintiff alleges that the GDC further violated its Rules and Regulations when it failed to search prisoners on the transportation bus in order to prevent the picking of handcuff locks and door locks, left firearms exposed and available to prisoners, and confined Plaintiff to solitary confinement without cause. See [id. at ¶¶ 4, 7, 35-37]. Specifically, during the events that occurred on June 13, 2017, Plaintiff's Complaint alleges verbatim that he “struck his head trying to move to the back of the bus and avoid the violence on the prison bus” and “slipped and fell breaking one of his teeth.” [Id. at ¶ 6]. Plaintiff also claims that he “suffered Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and other psychiatric maladies yet to be identified” as a result of the incident itself and his subsequent “unlawful . . . solitary confinement” “in deplorable conditions” for 120[1] days. [Id. at ¶¶ 6, 45].

         In its most general sense, however, Plaintiff's Complaint [Doc. 1] alleges that “Defendants' actions and inactions proximately caused the injuries herein stated to Plaintiff Fasion and are in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution, Georgia State Law and Georgia Department of Corrections and other department rules and regulations.” [Id. at ¶ 45]. Aside from this general allegation of an Eighth Amendment violation-based on deliberate indifference-Plaintiff also appears to assert negligence claims based on Defendants' alleged failure to comport with the GDC's Standard Operating Procedures. [Id.].

         In any case, Plaintiff has filed two motions contemporaneously with his Complaint: (1) Motion for an Order to Allow Inmate to Receive Account Certification from the Georgia Department of Corrections [Doc. 2] and (2) Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (“IFP”) [Doc. 4]. As discussed in more detail below, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion for an Order to Allow Inmate to Receive Account Certification from the Georgia Department of Corrections [Doc. 2].

         I. Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

          Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915, upon a showing that a plaintiff is unable to pay the filing fees associated with initiating a civil suit, the Court may permit that plaintiff to proceed without prepayment of the fees, or stated differently, be given IFP status. Here, Plaintiff is incarcerated and submitted an affidavit in which he swears that he has no income or significant assets to pay the required filing fee. See generally [Doc. 4]. However, Plaintiff has been unable to secure his Account Certification as mandated by federal law when moving to proceed IFP. In an attempt to secure this certification, Plaintiff filed the previously-mentioned Motion for an Order to Allow Inmate to Receive Account Certification from the Georgia Department of Corrections in hopes to have the Court compel Wilcox State Prison to produce the required documentation related to his prisoner account. [Doc. 2 at pp. 2-3].

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2)

A prisoner seeking to bring a civil action or appeal a judgment in a civil action or proceeding without prepayment of fees or security therefor, in addition to filing the affidavit . . . shall submit a certified copy of the trust fund account statement (or institutional equivalent) for the prisoner for the 6-month period immediately preceding the filing of the complaint or notice of appeal, obtained from the appropriate official of each prison at which the prisoner is or was confined.

         While Plaintiff must eventually fully pay the Court's filing fee, it is clear that he is not at fault in his inability to supply the Court with the required information regarding his trust account. Cf. Thomas v. Butts, 745 F.3d 309, 312-13 (7th Cir. 2014) (holding that a district court errs when it dismisses an inmate's suit for non-payment of a filing fee without determining whether the prisoner is at fault in not supplying what the court required from the inmate's trust account); Wilson v. Sargent, 313 F.3d 1315, 1320 (11th Cir. 2002) (discussing that a prisoner's failure to pay a filing fee may be due to circumstances beyond his control). Here, according to Plaintiff, he has properly requested his Account Certification so that he may file it with his IFP Motion, but his request has been unsuccessful. See [Doc. 2 at pp. 2-3]; see also [Doc. 2-1].

         Because Plaintiff is incarcerated and because prisoners “rely on the custodial institution, ” to transmit and timely process requests related to trust account information, the Court will not penalize Plaintiff's failure to supply a completed Account Certification. Thomas, 745 F.3d at 313. Accordingly, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis [Doc. 4].

         As previously mentioned, Plaintiff is, however, still obligated to eventually pay the full balance of the filing fee, in installments, as set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). The district court's filing fee is not refundable, regardless of the outcome of the case, and must therefore be paid in full even if Plaintiff's Complaint is dismissed prior to service. For this reason, the Clerk is DIRECTED to 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 towards the filing fee, as explained below.

         A. Directions to Plaintiff's Custodian

         Because Plaintiff has now been granted IFP status in the above-captioned case, it is 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 trust account at said institution until the $350.00 filing fee has been paid in full. The funds shall be collected and withheld by the prison account custodian who shall, on a monthly basis, forward the amount collected as payment towards the filing fee, provided the amount in the prisoner's account exceeds $10.00. The custodian's collection of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.