United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division
ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE
J. DAVIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a pretrial detainee at the Duval County Jail, initiated this
case by filing a pro se Civil Rights Complaint (Doc. 1). He
also filed a request to proceed in forma pauperis
(Docs. 2, 3). Plaintiff names as Defendants the City of
Jacksonville; the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office / Mike
Williams; Detective Christopher Smith; Mayor Lenny
Curry; Detective Daniel Digiorgi; and City Counsel
Chairperson Anna Lopez Brosche. He lists his claims as
“neglect of duty[, ] fraud, cruel and unusual
punishment, racial discrimination[, ] tampering with
evidence, false imprisonment, falsify reports, deprived of
life, liberty, declar[a]tory degree [sic].”
Plaintiff's factual allegations are as follows:
Officer Christopher Smith tamper[ed] with submitted evidence
taken and placed the item of a black hoody [sic] taken from
plaintiff on the scene of a crime to be photographed. He also
along with detective Di[gi]orgi committed conspiracy to
convict by giv[ing] false statements.
also provides the names of four officers he identifies as
“witnesses.” He claims that he suffers
depression, anxiety attacks, stress, and mental abuse. As
relief, he seeks monetary damages and “release from
Prison Litigation Reform Act requires the Court to dismiss a
case at any time if the Court determines that the action is
frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). In reviewing a pro se
plaintiff's pleadings, a court must liberally construe
the plaintiff's allegations. See Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Bingham v.
Thomas, 654 F.3d 1171, 1175 (11th Cir. 2011). However,
the duty of a court to construe pro se pleadings liberally
does not require the court to serve as “de
facto counsel” for the plaintiff. Freeman v.
Sec'y, Dept. of Corr., 679 Fed.Appx. 982, 982 (11th
Cir. 2017) (citing GJR Invs., Inc. v. Cty. of
Escambia, 132 F.3d 1359, 1369 (11th Cir. 1998)).
“A claim is frivolous if it is without arguable merit
either in law or fact.” Bilal v. Driver, 251
F.3d 1346, 1349 (11th Cir. 2001) (citing Battle v. Cent.
State Hosp., 898 F.2d 126, 129 (11th Cir. 1990)).
respect to whether a complaint “fails to state a claim
on which relief may be granted, ” §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) mirrors the language of Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), so courts apply the same standard.
Mitchell v. Farcass, 112 F.3d 1483, 1490 (11th Cir.
1997); see also Alba v. Montford, 517 F.3d 1249,
1252 (11th Cir. 2008). “To survive a motion to dismiss,
a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted
as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible
on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “Labels and
conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action” that amount to
“naked assertions” will not do. Id.
(quotations, alteration, and citation omitted). A complaint
must “contain either direct or inferential allegations
respecting all the material elements necessary to sustain a
recovery under some viable legal theory.” Roe v.
Aware Woman Ctr. for Choice, Inc., 253 F.3d 678, 683
(11th Cir. 2001) (quotations and citations omitted).
Complaint is subject to dismissal under this Court's
screening obligation pursuant to the PLRA because Plaintiff
has failed to “state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” See Ashcroft, 556 U.S.
at 678. To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must allege that a person acting under color of
state law deprived him of a right secured under the
Constitution or laws of the United States. See Salvato v.
Miley, 790 F.3d 1286, 1295 (11th Cir. 2015); Harvey
v. Harvey, 949 F.2d 1127, 1130 (11th Cir. 1992). More
than conclusory and vague allegations are required to state a
cause of action under § 1983. See L.S.T., Inc., v.
Crow, 49 F.3d 679, 684 (11th Cir. 1995) (per curiam)
(citing Fullman v. Graddick, 739 F.2d 553, 556-57
(11th Cir. 1984)). In the absence of a federal constitutional
deprivation or violation of a federal right, a plaintiff
cannot sustain a cause of action against a defendant.
has failed to set forth any factual allegations regarding
Defendants the City of Jacksonville, the Sheriff, the Mayor,
or Anna Lopez Brosche. To the extent he is attempting to hold
these Defendants liable based on the theory of respondeat
superior, the Eleventh Circuit has rejected this theory of
liability in § 1983 cases. See Keith v. DeKalb Cty.,
Ga., 749 F.3d 1034, 1047 (11th Cir. 2014) (citing
Cottone v. Jenne, 326 F.3d 1352, 1360 (11th Cir.
2003)). Thus, all claims against these Defendants are due to
respect to Detectives Smith and Digiorgi, Plaintiff appears
to be attempting to state a claim for false imprisonment
following an arrest that occurred at the Hilltop Village
Apartments on November 14, 2017. “A § 1983 claim
of false imprisonment requires a showing of common law false
imprisonment and a due process violation under the Fourteenth
Amendment.” Campbell v. Johnson, 586 F.3d 835,
840 (11th Cir. 2009). Plaintiff has not stated a due process
violation because he has not alleged that his continued
detention is invalid or that his arrest was made in the
absence of probable cause. See id.; see also
Case v. Eslinger, 555 F.3d 1317, 1330 (11th Cir. 2009)
(“Our precedents establish that a claim of false
imprisonment . . . depends on an absence of probable
cause.”). Indeed, Plaintiff's criminal case is
ongoing. To the extent Plaintiff is attempting to have this
Court interfere with his ongoing state court criminal case,
this Court will abstain from doing so.
this case is due to be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). Accordingly, it is
1. This case is DISMISSED without prejudice.
2. The Clerk shall enter judgment dismissing
this case without prejudice, terminate any pending motions,
and close the file.