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Riethmiller v. People Ready Florida, Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division

December 7, 2017




         This cause comes before the Court for consideration without oral argument on the following motion:


         FILED: December 7, 2017

         THEREON it is RECOMMENDED that the motion be DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On August 1, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint “invok[ing] the Constitution of the United States of America . . . and other pertinent laws . . . .” Doc. 1. In the Complaint, Plaintiff asserted that Defendants, which included her former employer, were “bound by Federal Employment laws not to discriminate . . . .” Id. at 2. In the remainder of the Complaint, Plaintiff recounted certain facts related to co-workers allegedly speaking Spanish to her, and alleged that she was discriminated against because she asked that Florida law be implemented, specifically that English be deemed the official language. Id. at 3.

         In tandem with her Complaint, Plaintiff filed motions for the appointment of counsel and to proceed in forma pauperis. Docs. 2; 3. The Court denied the appointment of counsel without prejudice, but allowed Plaintiff to proceed in forma pauperis. Docs. 6; 7. At the time of those Orders, the undersigned was unaware of Plaintiff's history as a vexatious litigator. However, shortly thereafter, Plaintiff filed a frivolous motion to disqualify the United States District Judge assigned to this case. See Doc. 13. United States District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza entered an Order denying that motion to disqualify because Plaintiff failed to provide a sufficient basis for the requested relief or a memorandum of law in support thereof, and because Plaintiff failed to comply with the Local Rules of this Court. Doc. 16.

         Recently, the Court has become aware that this Court has deemed Plaintiff a vexatious litigant and has required that a United States magistrate judge review any case filed by Plaintiff. See In re Riethmiller, 8:12-cv-2516-EAK-TBM, Doc. 3 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 7, 2012). As stated by this Court, Plaintiff has a long history of filing frivolous cases over which this Court lacks jurisdiction. See id. Further, as detailed in a pending motion by Defendant Peopleready Florida, Inc., Plaintiff has filed dozens of frivolous lawsuits in other state and federal courts. See Doc. 24.

         Pursuant to the Court's prior Order requiring screening of Plaintiff's filings, on November 28, 2017, the undersigned issued a Report recommending that the Complaint be dismissed, as not approved for filing, because it fails to comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). Doc. 28. In addition, because the undersigned was not aware of the screening order at the time Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis was granted, the undersigned recommended that the Court sua sponte reconsider the Order granting that motion, vacate the Order granting Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis, deny the motion to proceed in forma pauperis, dismiss the Complaint, and direct the Clerk of Court to close this case. Id. That Report and Recommendation remains pending.

         In addition to the foregoing, on October 23, 2017, Plaintiff filed a notice of interlocutory appeal seeking to appeal Judge Mendoza's Order denying Plaintiff's motion to disqualify. Doc. 27. In that notice, Plaintiff makes unsupported and rambling allegations in relation to Judge Mendoza - and other state court judges unrelated to this case - that, frankly, are mostly incoherent. See Doc. 27.

         On November 24, 2017, it appears that Plaintiff filed a motion to appeal in forma pauperis before the Court of Appeals as to her notice of interlocutory appeal. Doc. 32. That motion was forwarded to this Court and docketed on December 7, 2017, and is now before the undersigned for the issuance of a Report and Recommendation. Id.


         “An appeal may not be taken in forma pauperis if the trial court certifies in writing that it is not taken in good faith.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) (italics added); see also Fed. R. App. P. 24(a)(3). “Whether an appeal is taken in good faith is a matter within the discretion of the trial court.” Busch v. Cty. of Volusia, 189 F.R.D. 687, 692 (M.D. Fla. 1999) (citing Adkins v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 335 U.S. 331 (1948)). Good faith in this context must be judged by an objective standard. Busch, 189 F.R.D. at 691. A party does not proceed in good faith when he seeks to advance a frivolous claim or argument. See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 445 (1962). A claim or argument is frivolous when it appears the factual allegations are clearly baseless or the legal theories are indisputably meritless. See Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989); Carroll v. Gross, 984 F.2d 392, 393 (11th Cir. 1993). Or, stated another way, an informa pauperis action is frivolous and, thus, not brought in good faith, if ...

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