United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
KENDRICK R. MARTIN, Plaintiff,
FREDRICK PRYOR, Prison Guard, Defendant.
MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S REPORT AND
K. EFPS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
an inmate at Valdosta State Prison in Valdosta, Georgia, has
submitted to the Court for filing a complaint, brought
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, regarding events alleged
to have occurred at Augusta State Medical Prison in
Grovetown, Georgia. Because he is proceeding IFP,
Plaintiff’s pleadings must be screened to protect
potential defendants. Phillips v. Mashburn, 746 F.2d
782, 785 (11th Cir. 1984); Al-Amin v. Donald, 165 F.
App’x 733, 736 (11th Cir. 2006). 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), but the Court may dismiss the complaint or any
portion thereof 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). After a review of Plaintiff’s complaint and
prior history of case filings, the Court REPORTS and
RECOMMENDS this action be DISMISSED without prejudice.
prisoner attempting to proceed IFP in a civil action in
federal court must comply with the mandates of the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), Pub. L. No.
104-134, §§ 801-810, 110 Stat. 1321 (1996). 28
U.S.C. § 1915(g) of the PLRA provides:
In no event shall a prisoner bring a civil action or appeal a
judgment in a civil action or proceeding under this section
if the prisoner has, on 3 or more prior occasions, while
incarcerated or detained in any facility, brought an action
or appeal in a court of the United States that was dismissed
on the grounds that it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, unless the
prisoner is under imminent danger of serious physical injury.
provision of the PLRA, commonly known as the three strikes
provision, requires frequent filer prisoners to prepay the
entire filing fee before federal courts may consider their
lawsuits and appeals.” Rivera v. Allin, 144
F.3d 719, 723 (11th Cir. 1998) (internal citations omitted),
abrogated on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549
U.S. 199 (2007). The Eleventh Circuit has upheld the
constitutionality of § 1915(g) because it does not
violate an inmate’s right to access the courts, the
doctrine of separation of powers, an inmate’s right to
due process of law, or an inmate’s right to equal
protection. Id. at 721-27.
end, the “Complaint for Violation of Civil Rights
(Prisoner)” requires that prisoner plaintiffs disclose:
(1) whether they have begun other lawsuits in state or
federal court dealing with the same facts involved in the
current action, (2) whether they have brought any state or
federal lawsuits otherwise relating to the conditions of
their imprisonment, and (3) the disposition of any such
lawsuits. (Doc. no. 1, pp. 13-15.) Under the questions
concerning whether a prisoner plaintiff has brought any
lawsuits dealing with the same facts involved in this action
or facts other than those involved in this action, the
prisoner plaintiff who has brought any such lawsuits is
specifically instructed to describe each lawsuit, including
the court hearing the case, the date of filing, and
disposition. (Id.) If there is more than one such
lawsuit, the additional lawsuits must be described on another
piece of paper. (Id. at 14-15.) By affixing his
signature to the complaint form, Plaintiff certifies the
accuracy of the information contained therein in accordance
with Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
(Id. at 19.)
under penalty of perjury, Plaintiff identified nine prior
cases he filed in federal court dealing with facts other than
those in this action. (Id. at 15-19.) However, the
Court is aware of at least two other cases Plaintiff filed
which he failed to disclose: Martin v. Emmons,
7:19-cv-00103-HL-TQL (M.D. Ga. July 11, 2019); Martin v.
Emmons, 7:19-cv-00119-WLS-TQL (M.D. Ga. Aug. 5, 2019).
Eleventh Circuit has approved of dismissing a case based on
dishonesty in a complaint. In Rivera, the Court of
Appeals reviewed a prisoner plaintiff’s filing history
for the purpose of determining whether prior cases counted as
“strikes” under the PLRA and stated:
The district court’s dismissal without prejudice in
Parker is equally, if not more, strike-worthy. In
that case, the court found that Rivera had lied under penalty
of perjury about the existence of a prior lawsuit,
Arocho. As a sanction, the court dismissed the
action without prejudice, finding that Rivera “abuse[d]
the judicial process[.]”
Rivera, 144 F.3d at 731; see also Sears v.
Haas, 509 F. App’x 935, 936 (11th Cir. 2013)
(affirming dismissal of complaint where prisoner plaintiff
failed to accurately disclose previous litigation);
Redmon v. Lake Cty. Sheriff’s Office, 414 F.
App’x 221, 223, 226 (11th Cir. 2011) (affirming
dismissal, after directing service of process, of amended
complaint raising claims that included denial of proper
medical care and cruel and unusual punishment for placement
in a “restraint chair” and thirty-seven days of
solitary confinement upon discovering prisoner plaintiff
failed to disclose one prior federal lawsuit); Young v.
Sec’y Fla. Dep’t of Corr., 380 F.
App’x 939, 940-41 (11th Cir. 2010) (affirming dismissal
of third amended complaint based on a plaintiffs failure to
disclose prior cases on the court’s complaint form);
Alexander v. Salvador, No. 5:12cv15, 2012 WL 1538368
(N.D. Fla. Mar. 21, 2012) (dismissing case alleging
deliberate indifference to serious medical needs where
plaintiff failed to disclose new case commenced in interim
between filing original complaint and second amended
complaint), adopted by, Alexander v. Salvador, No.
5:12cv15, 2012 WL 1538336 (N.D. Fla. May 2, 2012).
practice of dismissing a case as a sanction for providing
false information about prior filing history is also well
established in the Southern District of Georgia. See,
e.g., Williamson v. Cty. of Johnson, GA, CV
318-076 (S.D. Ga. Dec. 6, 2018); Brown v. Wright, CV
111-044 (S.D. Ga. June 17, 2011); Hood v. Tompkins,
CV 605-094 (S.D. Ga. Oct. 31, 2005), aff’d,
197 F. App’x 818 (11th Cir. 2006). As discussed above,
Plaintiff’s answers about filing other federal lawsuits
were blatantly dishonest, and this case should be dismissed
without prejudice as a sanction for the dishonesty.