United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
VIRGINIA M. HERNANDEZ OVINGTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court sua sponte. On April 28, 2017,
Plaintiff Alexandra Love Prosperous, who is proceeding pro
se, instituted this action against thirty-three defendants.
(Doc. # 1). For the reasons below, the Complaint is dismissed
without prejudice and with leave to amend. If Prosperous
wishes to proceed with this action, she should filed an
amended complaint by June 3, 2017.
begin, the Complaint filed by Prosperous consists of a
filled-in form provided by the Clerk's Office and an
attachment that provides more detail with respect to the
factual allegations giving rise to the Complaint. (Doc. # 1).
While a plaintiff may attach documents to a complaint, for
example a public record or contract that is relevant to an
action, the complaint itself should be comprised of a single
document. Thus, if Prosperous files an amended complaint, she
should draft it as a single document.
given the multitude of claims and defendants, the Court
advises Prosperous of the pleading requirements under the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Eleventh Circuit
precedent. A complaint must contain “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the [plaintiff] is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). In addition,
“[e]ach allegation must be simple, concise, and
direct.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(d). And, “[a] party must
state its claims . . . in numbered paragraphs, each limited
as far as practicable to a single set of circumstances. . . .
If doing so would promote clarity, each claim founded on a
separate transaction or occurrence . . . must be stated in a
separate count . . . .” Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(b).
“These rules work together to require the [plaintiff]
to present [her] claims discretely and succinctly, so that
[her] adversar[ies] can discern what [she] is claiming and
frame a responsive pleading.” Fikes v. City of
Daphne, 79 F.3d 1079, 1082 (11th Cir. 1996).
shotgun pleadings are not permitted within the Eleventh
Circuit. There are four types of shotgun pleadings: (1)
“a complaint containing multiple counts where each
count adopts the allegations of all preceding counts, causing
each successive count to carry all that came before and the
last count to be a combination of the entire
complaint”; (2) a complaint . . . replete with
conclusory, vague, and immaterial facts not obviously
connected to any particular cause of action”; (3) a
“pleading . . . that [does] . . . not separat[e] into a
different count each cause of action or claim for
relief”; and (4) a complaint . . . asserting 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, 1322-23 (11th Cir. 2015). Each
“type of shotgun pleading . . . fail[s] . . . to
give the defendants adequate notice of the claims against
them and the grounds upon which each claim rests.”
Id. at 1323.
Prosperous elects to file an amended complaint, she should
list each claim to relief, along with the facts supporting
that particular claim, under a separate count. Additionally,
if Prosperous asserts the same claim against multiple
defendants under a single count, she should ensure it is
clear which defendant is alleged to have done which act.
although Prosperous attempts to assert claims under the first
ten Amendments to the United States Constitution, many of
those Amendments are simply not implicated by the alleged
conduct. For instance, Prosperous includes no allegations as
to how the Second (right to bear arms), Third (no quartering
of soldiers), Seventh (right to trial by jury in suits at
common law), Ninth (preserving rights not enumerated), and
Tenth (powers reserved to the states or the people)
Amendments have been violated. If Prosperous files an amended
complaint, she should only list the Amendments that are
implicated by the facts she alleges.
Court also notes it does not sit in an appellate capacity
over state-court proceedings. See Harper v. Chase
Manhattan Bank, 138 F. App'x 130 (11th Cir. 2005)
(“Under the Rooker-Feldman abstention
doctrine, it is well-settled that a federal district court
lacks jurisdiction to review, reverse, or invalidate a final
state court decision.”); Sitton v. United
States, 413 F.2d 1386, 1389 (5th Cir. 1969) (“The
jurisdiction possessed by the District Courts of the United
States is strictly original. A federal district court has no
original jurisdiction to reverse or modify the judgment of a
state court. Federal courts have no authority to act as an
appellate arm of the state courts.”). Additionally, in
considering if and how to amend her complaint, Prosperous is
encouraged to consider the effect judicial immunity,
quasi-judicial immunity, and qualified immunity may have on
should review the “Proceeding Without a Lawyer”
section of the court's website. Of particular note is the
Handbook designed to help guide pro se litigants. Also, there
is a legal assistance program on Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. to
1:00 p.m. on the second floor of the Sam A. Gibbons United
States Courthouse where pro se litigants may consult with a
lawyer on a limited basis for free. A description of this
program may be found on the court's website under the
“Proceeding Without a Lawyer” section.
ADJUDGED, and DECREED:
Plaintiff Alexandra Love Prosperous' Complaint (Doc. # 1)
is DISMISEED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
Plaintiff Alexandra Love Prosperous may file an amended
complaint by June 3, 2017. If she elects to file an amended
complaint, Prosperous must comply with the ...