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Jones v. Lee County Department of Human and Veteran Services

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division

July 16, 2018

DONALD JONES, Plaintiff,
v.
LEE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN AND VETERAN SERVICES, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JOHN E. STEELE SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on review of plaintiff's Request on Why the Long Delay (Doc. #16) filed on May 8, 2018, and plaintiff's Motion From the Court to Intervene in This Case (Doc. #17) filed on June 7, 2018. The motions will be granted to the extent that the Amended Complaint is now being reviewed.

         In the first motion, plaintiff asks why such a long delay since the February 2, 2018 Order. In the second motion, plaintiff asks the Court to remove the undersigned from the case, and to explain the delay. The review of the Amended Complaint was delayed simply because of other more urgent matters that sometimes take precedence, including criminal matters. The Court does not find that a reassignment of the case would benefit plaintiff, and declines to transfer the case. The Court will take the opportunity to review the Amended Complaint.

         Under Rule 1915, when a party seeks to proceed without prepayment of costs or the filing fee,

Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that--
(A) the allegation of poverty is untrue; or
(B) the action or appeal--
(i) is 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). “Dismissal under § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is governed by the same standard as a dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. [ ] However, pro se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than pleadings drafted by attorneys and will, therefore, be liberally construed.” Evans v. Georgia Reg'l Hosp., 850 F.3d 1248, 1253 (11th Cir.), cert. denied, 138 S.Ct. 557 (2017) (citations omitted).

         On February 2, 2018, the Magistrate Judge found that plaintiff had demonstrated “sufficient economic eligibility” to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee and costs, but denied the motion because plaintiff had failed to file an amended complaint pursuant to instructions provided in a prior order. (Doc. #12.) In the previous Order (Doc. #8), the Magistrate Judge reviewed the original Complaint and found no plausible legal claims for relief stated, and no articulated basis for subject-matter jurisdiction. The Magistrate Judge provided plaintiff an opportunity to amend in light of his pro se status, consistent with provided directives, and noted that the “[f]ailure to follow the Court's directives may lead to the Court recommending that this case be dismissed.” (Doc. #8, p. 10.)

         On February 16, 2018, plaintiff filed a one-page Amended Complaint (Doc. #14) against the Lee County Department of Human and Veteran Services, which states in its entirety:

(1) I file application at the lee county department of human and veteran Services for assistance they was rule and offensive and wanted me to Go somewhere else to another program I spoke to the director. At the Next meeting 11 repairs was remove. I be ...

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