United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
RANDAL HALL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
following motions are before the Court: Defendant Katrana
Luellen's motion to dismiss (Doc. 9); Plaintiff's
motion for contempt of court and for other relief (Doc. 12);
Plaintiff's motion for injunctive relief (Doc. 13);
Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 14);
Defendant Katrana Luellen and Toya Stevenson's motion to
dismiss (Doc. 21); Defendant Sandra DeShaizer's motion to
dismiss (Doc. 23); Plaintiff's motion for mediation (Doc.
24); Defendant Sandra DeShaizer's second motion to
dismiss (Doc. 28); and Defendant Sterling Wimberly's
motion to dismiss (Doc. 34).
proceeding pro se, initiated the action with the
filing of his Complaint on October 18, 2018. On November 1,
2018, Plaintiff filed his First Additional Complaint.
(See Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1).) Pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 4 (m), a plaintiff is required to
serve defendants within ninety days of filing his complaint.
Despite notice, Defendant failed to properly serve a number
of defendants. Ninety days have passed since Plaintiff filed
his First Additional Complaint, and Plaintiff received
substantial additional time to effect proper service on
November 1, 2018, United States Magistrate Judge Brian K.
Epps notified Plaintiff that "he must serve Defendants
within ninety days . . ., and failure to do so may result in
the dismissal of individual defendants or the entire
case." (November 1, 2018 Magistrate Order, Doc. 7, at
3.) Shortly thereafter, Plaintiff filed a motion requesting
that the United States Marshal serve Defendant DeShaizer.
(Doc. 10.) Judge Epps denied the motion and noted
Plantiff's failure to serve Defendant DeShaizer.
(November 7, 2018 Magistrate Order, Doc. 11, at 2.) On
December 17, 2018, Plaintiff filed his proof of service as to
five Defendants: Toya Stevenson, Judge Sterling Wimberly,
Apria M. Brown, Katrana Luellen, and Sandra Allen. (Summons
Returned Executed, Doc. 27.) On four of the proofs of
service, Plaintiff signed the "server's
signature" line. (Id. at 1-4.) The final
document in the proof of service collection is a
Sheriff's Entry of Service as to Defendant Allen.
(Id. at 5.) Additionally, Defendant Allen is the
only defendant to answer either complaint, and it is unclear
which complaint she answered. (See Allen Answer,
Doc. 8.) The answer does, however, appear to acknowledge
service. (See id. at 2.)
Insufficient Service of Process
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b) (5) and 4 (m),
Defendants Stevenson, Wimberly, and Luellen are dismissed
from the action for insufficient service of process. Even
assuming Plaintiff actually served some Defendants himself, a
party may not serve a summons and complaint. Fed.R.Civ.P.
Rule [4(c)(2)] provides in part that "a person who is
'not a party may serve a summons and
complaint.'" Pelmore v. Pinestate Mortg.
Corp., [No. 1:09-CV-2313-TWT], 2010 WL 520767, at *3
(N.D.Ga. [Feb.] 8, 2010) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(c)(2))
(emphasis in original). [The] [p]laintiff failed to comply
with Rule 4(c)(2) because he personally attempted service . .
. ." Id. ("any attempt by Plaintiff
himself to serve [the] [d]efendants by mail would be a
violation of Rule 4(c)(2)") (citing Genins v. State
Bar of Ga., [No. CIVA CV205-116], 2006 WL 2699076, at *2
(S.D. Ga. [Sept.] 18, 2006)). The complaint is subject to
dismissal for this . . . defect in service.
Nasrallah v. Chick-fil-a Piedmont Road, No.
1:15-CV-02893-RWS-JFK, 2017 WL 729170, at 3 n.4 (N.D.Ga. Jan.
3, 2017). Plaintiff's pro se status is not an
excuse for failure to serve Defendants in accordance with the
Federal Rules. Anderson v. Osh Kosh B'Gosh, 255
F.App'x 345, 348 n.4 (11th Cir. 2006) (citing McNeil
v. United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993)).
Plaintiff signed as the serving party for Defendants
Stevenson, Wimberly, and Luellen, and Defendants Stevenson,
Wimberly, and Luellen moved to dismiss for insufficient
service of process. In response to the argument that
Plaintiff failed to effect proper service, and upon a finding
of insufficient service, Plaintiff's obligation is to
show good cause for his failure to serve Defendants.
See Fed.R.Civ.P. 4 (m) . Plaintiff failed to
meaningfully oppose the motions to dismiss for insufficient
service of process (see LR 7.5, SDGa) or otherwise
show the existence of good cause for his failure to properly
serve certain Defendants. See Lepone v. Dempsey v.
Carroll Cty. Comm'rs, 476 F.3d 1277, 1282 (11th Cir.
2007). Instead, Plaintiff argues he effected proper service.
For the reasons contained herein, he is incorrect. The case
is dismissed as to Defendants Stevenson, Wimberly, and
Motion for a More Definite Statement
DeShaizer filed a motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, a
motion for a more definite statement. (Doc. 23.)
Plaintiff's complaints amount to a collective
"shotgun pleading." As the Eleventh Circuit has
found, a "shotgun pleading" fails to separate
"into a different count each cause of action or claim
for relief" or asserts "multiple claims against
multiple defendants without specifying which of the
defendants are responsible for which acts or omissions, or
which of the defendants the claim is brought against."
Weiland v. Palm Beach Cty. Sheriff's Office, 792
F.3d 1313, 1322-24 (11th Cir. 2015). Plaintiff's initial
complaint suffers from both errors. (See Compl.)
Furthermore, Plaintiff fails to explain whether his
"Additional Complaint, " aside from the name, is
intended to replace or supplement Plaintiff's initial
complaint. Combined, Plaintiff's two complaints contain a
litany of intermixed asserted, referenced, and suggested
causes of action creating a vague and ambiguous pleading.
Accordingly, Defendants are left without clarity as to which
allegations they are required to respond. Despite the
well-established principle that district courts construe
pro se pleadings liberally, the Eleventh Circuit
"ha[s] little tolerance for shotgun pleadings."
Arrington v. Green, 757 F.App'x 796, 797 (11th
Cir. 2018) . As set forth in Section III, infra,
Plaintiff is instructed to replead his complaint as a single,
stand-alone document in accordance with the Federal Rules of
Failure to ...