United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Macon Division
LAWASKI C. BROWN, Plaintiff,
BIBB COUNTY SPECIAL INVESTIGATION, et al., Defendants.
T. TREADWELL, JUDGE
Brown moves to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”).
Doc. 2. Motions to proceed IFP are governed by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a), which provides:
[A]ny court of the United States may authorize the
commencement, prosecution or defense of any suit, action or
proceeding, civil or criminal, or appeal therein, without
prepayment of fees or security therefor, by a person who
submits an affidavit that includes a statement of all assets
such prisoner possesses that the person is unable to pay such
fees or give security therefor.
considering a motion to proceed IFP filed under §
1915(a), “[t]he only determination to be made by the
court . . . is whether the statements in the affidavit
satisfy the requirement of poverty.” Martinez v.
Kristi Kleaners, Inc., 364 F.3d 1305, 1307 (11th Cir.
2004). To show poverty, a plaintiff need not show that he is
“absolutely destitute.” Id. Instead, the
plaintiff must demonstrate that “because of his
poverty, he is unable to pay for the court fees and costs,
and to support and provide necessities for himself and his
dependents.” Id. However, this statute
“should not be a broad highway into the federal
courts.” Attwood v. Singletary, 105 F.3d 610,
613 (11th Cir. 1997); Mack v. Petty, 2014 WL
3845777, at *1 (N.D.Ga. 2014). Section 1915(a) “conveys
only a privilege to proceed without payment to only those
litigants unable to pay costs without undue hardship.”
Mack, 2014 WL 3845777, at *1 (citation omitted). The
district court is given wide discretion to decide IFP cases
and should “grant the privilege sparingly, ”
especially in civil cases for damages. Martinez, 364
F.3d at 1306.
Plaintiff claims he receives a monthly income of $192.00,
incurs monthly expenses of $192.00, and possesses no assets.
Doc. 2 at 1-5. Based on this information, the Court finds the
Plaintiff has sufficiently demonstrated poverty under 28
U.S.C. § 1915. The Plaintiff's motion to proceed IFP
(Doc. 2) is GRANTED.
the Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court must review his
complaint and dismiss the complaint if it: (1) is frivolous
or malicious; (2) fails to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted; or (3) seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). The Court must construe the Plaintiff's
pro se complaint liberally and in the light most favorable to
the Plaintiff. Miller v. Donald, 541 F.3d 1091, 1100
(11th Cir. 2008) (quotation marks and citation omitted).
the Plaintiff's filings, it appears he was arrested in
November 2018 by an Officer Smathers for willful obstruction
of law enforcement officers and for driving without
insurance. Doc. 1-1 at 1-3. The obstruction count was
dismissed, but he was convicted of failure to maintain
insurance and of driving while his license was suspended or
revoked. Id. at 9. On March 13, 2019, he filed a
complaint with the Sheriff's Office claiming his
information was being hacked and his emails were being
deleted. Id. at 12-13. The handwriting is difficult,
but the complaint appears to allege that officers were not
returning the Plaintiff's phone calls, that he kept
reaching a call center, and that “[a]ll the reports I
have made my case have not gotten investigated or anything. I
am planning on taking this to Court because I can't
access my liberty income tax information that was connected
to my email which got deleted somehow.” Id. at
13. He also claims the officers have wrongly “labeled
me as being crazy[.]” Id. at 14. A
sheriff's report clarifies that Brown believed he was
being followed, that someone had injected a pain-inducing
substance into his knee, that the doctors' X-ray was
wrong, and that the doctors were “[i]n on it as
well.” Id. at 16.
complaint itself asks, “Where is the final report? And
is the dash cam available for review for court
proof[?]” Doc. 1 at 3. The complaint also asserts that
in April 2019, Brown spoke to Defendant Patterson at the
Special Investigation Office, but Patterson “redirected
back to 111 Third St.” Id. at 4. Brown seeks
$20, 000 and a Court-ordered investigation of everything he
reported to the Sheriff's Office. Id. at 5.
lawsuit plainly fails to state a claim. There is no
allegation that the Defendants violated any law or that Brown
has suffered any legally cognizable injury. Because it fails
to pass review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the
complaint (Doc. 1) is DISMISSED without
 “Despite the statute's use
of the phrase ‘prisoner possesses,' the affidavit
requirement applies to all persons requesting leave to
proceed IFP.” Martinez v. Kristi Kleaners, ...