United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Waycross Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
BENJAMIN W. CHEESBRO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
originally filed this action in the Middle District of
Georgia while confined in a state prison. Docs. 1, 19, 20,
21. While the Middle District originally construed
Plaintiff's pro se pleading as an application for federal
habeas corpus relief, Plaintiff later clarified he sought to
challenge the conditions of his confinement at Ware State
Prison in Waycross, Georgia. Docs. 19, 26, 31. This action is
now pending in the Waycross Division of this Court. Doc. 32.
For the reasons set out below, I RECOMMEND
the Court DISMISS this action
without prejudice for failure to follow a
Court Order. I DIRECT the Clerk of Court to
CLOSE this case and enter the appropriate
judgment of dismissal, and DENY Plaintiff
leave to appeal in forma pauperis.
the Middle District transferred this action to the Southern
District, the Court determined Plaintiff intended to file
suit under § 1983. Docs. 26, 27. The Court then ordered
Plaintiff to amend his Complaint using the Court's
standard form for pro se § 1983 lawsuits. Doc. 27.
Plaintiff submitted a timely Amended Complaint on March 29,
2018, doc. 28, but the Amended Complaint was largely
indecipherable and “ambiguous as to which facts and
Defendants are associated with the various claims.”
Doc. 39 at 1-2, 4-5. Moreover, while Plaintiff alleged some
interpretable claims, his Amended Complaint incorporated only
“some, but not all, of his previous
filings.” Id. Thus, the Court could not
determine whether Plaintiff intended to abandon “facts,
claims, or Defendants described in previous filings”
but not included in Plaintiff's most recent iteration of
his Complaint. Id.
order to give Plaintiff a full opportunity present his claims
and cure the defects in the Amended Complaint, the Court
deferred its frivolity review and ordered Plaintiff to file a
Second Amended Complaint. Id. at 4-7. The Court
explained that Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint would
supersede his other filings and would become the operative
document going forward. Id. The Court cautioned
Plaintiff that “only the facts, claims, and named
Defendants included in Plaintiff's Second Amended
Complaint will be considered by the Court” and warned
that “[p]revious filings would not be
considered.” Id. The Court also provided a
detailed list of directives to assist Plaintiff in drafting a
more comprehensive pleading. Id. at 6-7. Despite
these instructions, however, Plaintiff failed to file a
Second Amended Complaint, and the time to do so has expired.
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, 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, 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). Additionally, a plaintiff may
not join unrelated claims and various defendants unless the
claims “arise out of the same transaction, occurrence,
or series of transactions or occurrences; and any question of
law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the
action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a). Notably, Rule 10 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires parties to state
claims “in numbered paragraphs, each limited as far as
practicable to a single set of circumstances, ” and
bring “each claim founded on a separate transaction or
occurrence” in a separately numbered count.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 10. Rules 8 and 10 are “supposed to work
in tandem ‘to require the pleader to present his claims
discretely and succinctly, so that (1) his adversary can
discern what he is claiming and frame a responsive pleading,
and (2) the court can determine which facts support which
claims, and whether the plaintiff has stated any claims upon
which relief can be granted.'” Fotse v. Lending
Home Funding Corp., No. 1:18-cv-03181, 2018 WL 7019359,
at *3 (N.D.Ga. Sept. 11, 2018) (quoting Fikes v. City of
Daphne, 79 F.3d 1079, 1082- 83 (11th Cir. 1996)).
a complaint fails to state a claim under §
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). 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 v.
Driver, 251 F.3d 1346, 1349 (11th Cir. 2001) (quoting
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989)).
Further, a claim is frivolous under § 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, 251 F.3d
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
Court must now determine how to address Plaintiff's
failure to comply with this Court's directives. For the
reasons set forth below, I RECOMMEND the
Court DISMISS Plaintiff's Complaint
without prejudice, DIRECT
the Clerk of Court to CLOSE this case and
enter the appropriate judgment of dismissal, and
DENY Plaintiff leave to appeal in forma
Dismissal for Failure to Follow this Court's
district court may dismiss claims sua sponte
pursuant to either Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) or
the court's inherent authority to manage its docket.
Link v. Wabash R.R. Co., 370 U.S. 626 (1962);
Coleman v. St. Lucie Cty. Jail, 433 Fed.Appx. 716,
718 (11th Cir. 2011) (citing Betty K Agencies, Ltd. v.
M/V MONADA, 432 F.3d 1333, 1337 (11th Cir. 2005)).
“A district court may sua sponte dismiss an
action under Fed[eral] R[ules of] Civ[il] P[rocedure] 41(b)
for failing to comply with a court order.” Muhammad
v. Muhammad, 561 Fed.Appx. 834, 836 (11th Cir. 2014);
see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b); Forde v. Miami Fed.
Dep't of Corr., 578 Fed.Appx. 877, 879 (11th Cir.
2014) (“The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow a
district court to dismiss a plaintiff's action for
failure to comply with the Rules or any court order.”);
Brown v. Tallahassee Police Dep't, 205 Fed.Appx.
802, 802 (11th Cir. 2006) (“The court may dismiss an
action sua sponte under Rule 41(b) for failure to
prosecute or failure to obey a court ...