United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EFPS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
commenced the above-captioned case pro se and is
proceeding in forma pauperis
(“IFP”). 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). Pleadings drafted by pro
se litigants must be liberally construed, Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972), but the Court may
dismiss a complaint, or any part thereof, that is frivolous
or malicious or that fails to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) &
SCREENING OF THE COMPLAINT
names as Defendants: (1) Johnny Raburn; and (2) Jack
Hancock. (See doc. no. 1, pp. 1, 2.)
Taking all of Plaintiff's factual allegations as true, as
the Court must for purposes of the present screening, the
facts are as follows.
September 16, 2016 and September 17, 2016, Plaintiff was
detained for suspicion of fraud. (Doc. no. 1, p. 4.)
Plaintiff was arrested, handcuffed, and placed in a police
car. (Id.) As Plaintiff was being taken into the
police car, Jack Hancock, an officer with the Wrens Police
Department, told Plaintiff he made terroristic threats to a
clerk named Monica Elaine Cuyler Thomas. (Id.)
Charged with making terroristic threats, Plaintiff spent the
next fifteen months in Jefferson County Jail, and on June 16,
2017, Plaintiff's charges were dismissed at a preliminary
hearing for unknown reasons. (Id.) In an unrelated
incident while Plaintiff was at Jefferson County Jail, on
July 17, 2017, jail guards and an emergency medical
technician (“EMT”) told Plaintiff and another
jail inmate to transport a deceased jail inmate, John Ayrmes.
(Id. at 5.) While escorting Mr. Ayrmes's body,
Plaintiff and the other inmate dropped the body.
alleges Mr. Hancock lied about Plaintiff making terroristic
threats and alleges Mr. Hancock is responsible for false
arrest and malicious prosecution. (Id. at 4.)
Plaintiff alleges Defendant Johnny Raburn is the Mayor of
Wrens, Georgia, and is a policymaker for the city.
(Id.) For relief, Plaintiff requests $1, 000, 000 in
damages. (Id. at 5.) He further requests Mr. Hancock
be reprimanded for the incident where Plaintiff dropped the
jail inmate's body and for his involvement in the charges
against Plaintiff for terroristic threats. (Id.)
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). 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) (per curiam)
(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) (per curiam);
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per
curiam). However, this liberal construction does not
mean that the court has a duty to re-write the complaint.
Snow v. DirecTV, Inc., 450 F.3d 1314, 1320 (11th
Plaintiff Fails to State a Claim Against Defendant Johnny
Raburn and Against Both Defendants for the
July 17, 2017 Incident
Eleventh Circuit has held that a district court properly
dismisses a defendant where a plaintiff, other than naming
the defendant in the caption of the complaint, fails to state
any allegations that associate the defendant with the
purported constitutional violation. Douglas v.
Yates, 535 F.3d 1316, 1321-22 (11th Cir. 2008)
(“While we do not require technical niceties in
pleading, we must demand that the complaint state with some
minimal particularity how overt acts of the defendant caused
a legal wrong.”). Here, Plaintiff merely alleges
Defendant Raburn is the mayor of Wren, Georgia. (Doc. no. 1,
p. 2, 4.) Plaintiff alleges no facts ...