United States District Court, N.D. Florida, Pensacola Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
CHARLES J. KAHN, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the court on plaintiff's civil rights
complaint filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (doc. 1)
and motion to proceed in forma pauperis (doc.2).
Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis
will be granted for the limited purpose of dismissing this
28 U.S.C. § 1915 mandates that the district court
dismiss an in forma pauperis action if the
court determines the action is “(i) frivolous or
malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant
who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). Upon review of the complaint, the undersigned
finds it should be dismissed as malicious.
4 of the civil rights complaint form, Section IV(C), Previous
Lawsuits, is the following question: “Have you
initiated other actions (besides those listed above in
Questions (A) and (B)) in either state or
federal court that relate to the fact or manner of
your incarceration (including habeas corpus petitions) or the
conditions of your confinement (including civil rights
complaints about any aspect of prison life, whether it be
general circumstances or a particular episode, and whether it
involved excessive force or some other wrong)?” (Doc.
1, p. 4). Plaintiff responded “No” and disclosed
no cases. (Id.). At the end of the civil rights
complaint form, plaintiff signed his name after the following
statement: “I DECLARE UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY
THAT THE FOREGOING STATEMENTS OF FACT, INCLUDING ALL
CONTINUATION PAGES, ARE TRUE AND CORRECT.”
(Doc. 1, p. 7). Thus, in effect, plaintiff stated that, at
the time he filed his complaint, he had initiated no other
action in federal court that related to the fact or manner of
his incarceration or the conditions of his confinement.
matter of course, the court attempts to make an independent
investigation into whether or not litigants truthfully
complete the complaint forms, especially when a lack of
candor in informing the court of prior lawsuits may affect
the court's jurisdiction. In light of 28 U.S.C. §
1915(g),  the court must necessarily investigate the
prior filings of a prisoner to enforce the so-called
“three strikes” provision. The information
obtained from the disclosure requirements also helps the
court evaluate whether the action is related to or should be
considered in connection with another case or whether a
holding in another case affects the current action. The time
spent verifying the cases a plaintiff has filed but failed to
identify, as well as the claims raised in those cases and
their disposition, can be considerable.
court may take judicial notice that, at the time plaintiff
filed his complaint in this case, plaintiff had initiated at
least 2 other civil actions in federal court that required
disclosure: Lucy v. Black, et al., 4:17cv261-RH-CAS
(civil rights complaint regarding conditions of confinement
filed in the Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee
Division); Lucy v. Tifft, et al., No.
3:12cv200-LC-CJK (civil rights complaint regarding conditions
of confinement/deliberate indifference to serious medical
needs filed in the Northern District of Florida, Pensacola
Division). Plaintiff did not disclose these cases despite the
complaint form's clear instruction that he do so.
court has the authority to control and manage matters such as
this pending before it, and plaintiff's pro se
status does not excuse him from conforming to acceptable
standards in approaching the court. If the court cannot rely
on the statements or responses made by the parties, it
threatens the quality of justice. The court will not tolerate
false responses or statements in any pleading or motion filed
before it. Here, plaintiff falsely responded to questions on
the complaint form, as detailed above. Plaintiff knew from
reading the complaint form that disclosure of all prior civil
cases was required. The complaint form expressly warns
prisoners: “FAILURE TO DISCLOSE ALL
PRIOR CIVIL CASES MAY RESULT IN THE DISMISSAL OF THIS CASE.
IF YOU ARE UNSURE OF ANY PRIOR CASES YOU HAVE FILED, THAT
FACT MUST BE DISCLOSED AS WELL.” (Doc. 1, p. 3).
If plaintiff suffered no penalty for his untruthful
responses, there would be little or no disincentive for his
attempt to evade or undermine the purpose of the form. The
court should not allow plaintiff's false responses to go
unpunished. An appropriate sanction for plaintiff's abuse
of the judicial process in not providing the court with true
factual statements or responses is to dismiss this case
it is respectfully RECOMMENDED:
plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis
(doc. 2) be GRANTED for the limited purpose of dismissing
this action be DISMISSED without prejudice pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) as malicious.
the clerk be directed to close the file.
TO THE PARTIES
to these proposed findings and recommendations may be filed
within fourteen (14) days after being served a copy thereof.
Any different deadline that may appear on the electronic
docket is for the court's internal use only, and does not
control. A copy of objections shall be served upon the
magistrate judge and all other parties. A party failing to
object to a magistrate judge's findings or
recommendations contained in a report and recommendation in
accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)
waives the right to challenge on ...