United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EPPS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a resident of Fulton County, Georgia using a mailing address
in Desoto, Texas, (see doc. nos. 1, 1-1), is proceeding
pro se and 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).
SCREENING THE COMPLAINT
names Gary Hutchins, Sheriff of Jefferson County Georgia, and
Clark Hiebert, Chief Deputy at the Jefferson County Jail
(JCJ), as Defendants. (Doc. no. 1, pp. 1, 2, 4.) Taking all
of Plaintiff's factual allegations as true, as the Court
must for purposes of the present screening, the facts are as
alleges he was incarcerated at JCJ on July 17, 2017, when
four jailers instructed him and a fellow inmate to move the
body of deceased inmate John Hymes from an upstairs cell to
the downstairs. (Id. at 4.) Plaintiff, and the other
inmate carrying the deceased, dropped the body while
descending the stairs but received no psychiatric treatment
after this traumatic incident. (Id.) Plaintiff has
since had “recurring nightmares and psychological fears
about death and [his] future.” (Id. at 5.)
Plaintiff identifies Sheriff Hutchins as the policy maker at
JCJ, and Chief Deputy Hiebert as the acting supervisor over
the jailers who instructed Plaintiff to carry the dead body.
(Id. at 4.) Plaintiff seeks “extensive
counseling and psychiatric help [and] also a cash
settlement” for the intentional infliction of emotional
distress he experienced. (Id. at 5.)
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, 325
(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 amended
complaint must “state a claim to 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
accusation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. The
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. Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). 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 Cir. 2006).
Federal Subject Matter Jurisdiction
a federal court is powerless to act beyond its statutory
grant of subject matter jurisdiction, a court must zealously
insure that jurisdiction exists over a case, and should
itself raise the question of subject matter jurisdiction at
any point in the litigation where a doubt about jurisdiction
arises.” Smith v. GTE Corp., 236 F.3d 1292,
1299 (11th Cir. 2001). Federal courts must always dismiss
cases upon determining that they lack subject matter
jurisdiction, regardless of the stage of the proceedings.
Goodman ex rel. Goodman v. Sipos, 259 F.3d 1327,
1331 n.6 (11th Cir. 2001). To invoke the jurisdiction of the
Court, a plaintiff must properly “allege the
jurisdictional facts, according to the nature of the
case.” McNutt v. Gen. Motors Acceptance Corp.,
298 U.S. 178, 182 (1936).
federal district court must have at least one of three types
of subject matter jurisdiction: (1) jurisdiction under a
specific statutory grant; (2) federal question jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331; or (3) diversity
jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).”
Baltin v. Alaron Trading Corp., 128 F.3d 1466, 1469
(11th Cir. 1997). Under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, diversity
jurisdiction exists where the suit is between citizens of
different states and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,
000. The party asserting jurisdiction has the burden of
establishing that their cause lies within this limited grant
of jurisdiction. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of
Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). Here, the complaint is
devoid of any federal claim or cause of action and appears,
in accordance ...