United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
ANTONIO T. WALTON, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER C. DOZER DOZER, et al. Defendants.
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EFPS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
an inmate at Augusta State Medical Prison in Grovetown,
Georgia, is proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis (“IFP”) in this case filed pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Because he is proceeding IFP,
Plaintiff's complaint must be screened to protect
potential defendants. Phillips v. Mashburn, 746 F.2d
782, 785 (11th Cir. 1984); Al-Amin v. Donald, 165
Fed.Appx. 733, 736 (11th Cir. 2006).
SCREENING OF THE COMPLAINT
February 27, 2019, Plaintiff submitted a petition for writ of
habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C § 2254. Walton v.
Philbin, CV 119-027 (S.D. Ga. Feb. 27, 2019). However,
upon initial review of Plaintiff's filings, the Court was
unable to determine whether he was attempting to assert a
petition for habeas corpus relief or a civil rights claim
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Id., doc. no. 5.
On March 21, 2019, the Court ordered Plaintiff to clarify
whether he was intending to proceed with a habeas corpus
petition or a § 1983 complaint. Id. The Court
directed the Clerk to include the form habeas petition and
civil complaint, giving Plaintiff the option of bringing both
claims if he wished. (Id.)
than return the forms as instructed, Plaintiff filed a motion
to amend and included nine pages of facts completely
unrelated to his initial filing. Id., doc. no. 6. On
April 19, 2019, the Court denied as moot Plaintiff's
motion to amend and again instructed him to provide the
proper forms of the claims in which he intends to bring
because Plaintiff failed to provide the forms as instructed.
Id., doc. no. 8. On April 25, 2019, prior to
receiving the Court's April 19th Order, Plaintiff
returned both the form habeas petition and the form
complaint, which was docketed as the present civil case.
Id., doc. no. 14; (doc. no. 1.) On May 1, 2019,
likely responding to the Court's April 19th Order, which
he did not receive prior to filing his original complaint,
Plaintiff filed what was docketed as an “amended
complaint.” (Doc. no. 4.) Because of the delay in time
between Plaintiff's filings and the Court's orders,
along with the complexity of separating Plaintiff's
habeas petition from the current case, the Court considers
all allegations in both Plaintiff's original complaint
and amended complaint.
original complaint Plaintiff names as Defendants: (1)
Commissioner C. Dozer Dozer; (2) Stan Shepard; (3) Edward
Philbin; (4) Reed LNU; (5) FNU Purti; (6) FNU Trimer; (7) FNU
Lee; (8) FNU Hubert; (9) FNU Jackson; (10) Lt. Franklin; (11)
FNU Harplo; (12) FNU Harbby; (13) Donna Young; (14) FNU Mayo;
(15) Deputy Warden McNeal; (16) NFU Murphy; (17) Lt. Johnson;
(18) FNU Cambal; (19) FNU Coodey; (20) Cert Ingeaneral; (21)
C/O II Cain; and (22) FNU Karpfe. (Doc. no. 1.) In his
amended complaint Plaintiff only names Warden Edward Philbin
as a Defendant. (Doc. no. 4.) Taking all of Plaintiff's
allegations as true, as the Court must for purposes of the
present screening, the facts are as follows.
original complaint, Plaintiff fails to make any factual
allegations, and, instead, leaves the “Statement of
Claim” portion of the form § 1983 complaint
entirely blank. (Doc. no. 1, pp. 4-5.) Plaintiff does allege
generally Constitutional rights under Amendments I, III, IV,
VI, VII, IX in a different section of the form. (Id.
at 3-4.) Plaintiff also includes two attachments to his
complaint, which are largely intelligible or repetitive. Of
the legible portions, Plaintiff continually requests $25,
000, 000, 000, 000, quotes the United State Constitution, and
includes a duplicate list of Defendants. (See
generally doc. nos. 1-1, 1-2.)
amended complaint, Plaintiff again generally state his
Constitutional rights under Amendments I, III, IV, VI, VII,
IX were violated. (Doc. no. 4, pp. 3-4.) He further states he
is requesting $25, 000, 000, 000, 000 for “systematic
injustice” and release from imprisonment based on
events occurring from 2011-2019. (Id. at 5.) Lastly,
Plaintiff alleges “false statements [were] made by
[the] alleged victim” in his underlying criminal
conviction. (Id. at 11.)
Legal Standard for Screening
complaint 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 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b). A claim is
frivolous if it “lacks an arguable basis either in law
or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 327 (1989). “Failure to state a claim under §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is governed by the same standard as
dismissal for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6).” Wilkerson v. H & S, Inc., 366
Fed.Appx. 49, 51 (11th Cir. 2010) (citing Mitchell v.
Farcass, 112 F.3d 1483, 1490 (11th Cir. 1997)).
avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted, the allegations in the complaint must
“state a claim for relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). That is,
“[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. While Rule 8(a) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure does not require detailed
factual allegations, “it demands more than an
unadorned, the defendant unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. A
complaint is insufficient if it “offers ‘labels
and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action, '” or if it
“tenders ‘naked assertions' devoid of
‘further factual enhancement.'” Id.
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557). In short,
the complaint must provide a “‘plain
statement' possess[ing] enough heft to ‘sho[w] that
the pleader is entitled to relief.'”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P.
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). However, this liberal
construction does not mean that the court has a duty ...