United States District Court, S.D. Florida
TODD E. WATSON, Plaintiff,
BROWARD COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, et al., Defendants.
E. WATSON, PRO SE
ORDER DISMISSING CASE
BLOOM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
CAUSE is before the Court upon Plaintiff Todd E.
Watson's (“Plaintiff”) Motion for Leave to
proceed in forma pauperis, ECF No.  (the
“Motion”), filed in conjunction with
Plaintiff's Complaint, ECF No. . The Court has
carefully considered the Motion, the record in this case, and
is otherwise fully advised. For the reasons that follow,
Plaintiff's Complaint is dismissed, and the Motion is
denied as moot.
a pro se litigant, has not paid the required filing
fee and therefore the screening provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e) are applicable. Section 1915 requires courts
to dismiss a suit “any time  the court determines
that . . . (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). A pleading in a civil action must contain
“a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2). Although a complaint “does not need detailed
factual allegations, ” it must provide “more than
labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.” Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); see
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (explaining
that Rule 8(a)(2)'s pleading standard “demands more
than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation”). Nor can a complaint rest on
“‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of
‘further factual enhancement.'”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 557 (alteration in original)). “[A]
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Id. (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 570). “A claim is frivolous when it
‘has little or no chance of success,' that is, when
it appears ‘from the face of the complaint that the
factual allegations are clearly baseless or that the legal
theories are indisputably meritless.'” Hoang v.
DeKalb Housing Auth., 2014 WL 1028926, at *1 (N.D.Ga.
Mar. 19, 2014) (quoting Carroll v. Gross, 984 F.2d
392, 393 (11th Cir. 1993)); see Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989) (holding that a claim is frivolous
“where it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in
se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than
pleadings drafted by attorneys and will, therefore, be
liberally construed.” Tannenbaum v. United
States, 148 F.3d 1262, 1263 (11th Cir. 1998).
Notwithstanding such leniency, courts cannot serve as de
facto counsel for a party and cannot rewrite a deficient
pleading for the sake of sustaining an action. Jarzynka
v. St. Thomas Univ. of Law, 310 F.Supp.2d 1256, 1264
(S.D. Fla. 2004) (quoting GJR Invs., Inc. v. Cty. of
Escambia, Fla., 132 F.3d 1359, 1369 (11th Cir. 1998),
overruled in part on other grounds by Randall v.
Scott, 610 F.3d 701, 709 (11th Cir. 2010)). The Court
cannot simply “fill in the blanks” to infer a
claim, Brinson v. Colon, 2012 WL 1028878, at *1
(S.D. Ga. Mar. 26, 2012), as “it is not the Court's
duty to search through a plaintiff's filings to find or
construct a pleading that satisfies Rule 8, ”
Sanders v. United States, 2009 WL 1241636, at *3
(N.D.Ga. Jan. 22, 2009); see Bivens v. Roberts, 2009
WL 411527, at *3 (S.D. Ga. Feb. 18, 2009) (“[J]udges
must not raise issues and arguments on plaintiffs'
behalf, but may only construe pleadings liberally given the
linguistic imprecision that untrained legal minds sometimes
employ.”) (citing Miller v. Donald, 541 F.3d
1091, 1100 (11th Cir. 2008)). In determining whether a
pro se litigant has stated a claim, “the court
ought not penalize the litigant for linguistic imprecision in
the more plausible allegations” while keeping in mind
that “wildly implausible allegations in the complaint
should not be taken to be true.” Miller v.
Donald, 541 F.3d 1091, 1100 (11th Cir. 2008).
Plaintiff again seeks to assert claims against various state
court judges in Broward and Miami-Dade, the state attorneys
in Broward and Miami-Dade, the public defenders in Broward
and Miami-Dade, various law enforcement agencies and
officers, and others-and includes over 1, 800 pages of
irrelevant attachments-for conspiracy to violate and
violation of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of
emotional distress, spoliation, and prosecutorial misconduct,
in relation to his conviction and sentencing in two cases
before the state court for possession of oxycodone, driving
under the influence (“DUI”), and trafficking in
oxycodone, and subsequent arrest and conviction in Miami-Dade
County for stalking and threats/extortion. This is the sixth
lawsuit Plaintiff has filed in this District involving his
convictions, and the second lawsuit before this Court
asserting similar claims. As in Plaintiff's previous case
before this Court, the Complaint here must be dismissed
because it is frivolous and fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted.
pled, the Complaint is devoid of actionable claims. Moreover,
the Complaint is the antithesis of a short and plain
statement of the facts, in which Plaintiff once again engages
the Court in an incoherent and lengthy narrative about a
conspiracy of corruption in the criminal justice system in
Florida specifically targeting him. For this reason alone,
the Complaint is due to be dismissed as a shotgun pleading.
See Osahar v. U.S. Postal Serv., 297 Fed.Appx. 863,
864 (11th Cir. 2008) (shotgun pleading refers to pleadings
that are “replete with factual allegations and rambling
legal conclusions”). The Eleventh Circuit has
repeatedly and unequivocally condemned shotgun pleadings as a
waste of judicial resources. “Shotgun pleadings,
whether filed by plaintiffs or defendants, exact an
intolerable toll on the trial court's docket, lead to
unnecessary and unchanneled discovery, and impose unwarranted
expense on the litigants, the court and the court's
para-judicial personnel and resources. Moreover, justice is
delayed for the litigants who are ‘standing in
line,' waiting for their cases to be heard.”
Jackson v. Bank of Am., N.A., 898 F.3d 1348, 1356-57
(11th Cir. 2018) (quoting Cramer v. Fla., 117 F.3d
1258, 1263 (11th Cir. 1997)).
addition, the state actor defendants are immune from
liability. See Edwards v. Wallace Cmty. College, 49
F.3d 1517, 1524 (11th Cir. 1995) (“A state, a state
agency, and a state official sued in his official capacity
are not ‘persons' within the meaning of §
1983, thus damages are unavailable.”) (citing Will
v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71
(1989)); see also Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409,
431 (1976) (state prosecutors enjoy absolute immunity from
section 1983 liability for damages for initiating a
prosecution and presenting the state's case); Stump
v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 355-56 (1978)
(“[J]udges of courts of superior or general
jurisdiction are not liable to civil actions for their
judicial acts, even when such acts are in excess of their
jurisdiction, and are alleged to have been done maliciously
or corruptly.”). Therefore, Plaintiff cannot assert a
valid claim against the various judges, prosecutors, and
public defenders. Furthermore, to the extent that
Plaintiff's § 1983 claims are premised upon events
that occurred prior to 2015, those claims would be barred by
the statute of limitations. See City of Hialeah v.
Rojas, 311 F.3d 1096, 1102 n.2 (11th Cir. 2002)
(“Section 1983 claims are governed by the forum
state's residual personal injury statute of limitations,
which in Florida is four years.”).
claims are clearly baseless and, thus, must be dismissed.
See Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32 (1992)
(under 28 U.S.C. § 1915, a federal court may dismiss a
complaint whose factual contentions describe “fantastic
or delusional scenarios, claims with which federal judges are
all too familiar”); Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 328
(a complaint is legally frivolous when it contains
“claims of infringement of a legal interest which
clearly does not exist”); Gallop v. Cheney,
642 F.3d 364, 366, 368-69 (2d Cir. 2011) (district court
properly sua sponte dismissed complaint as factually
frivolous where plaintiff alleged that senior government
officials caused the September 11, 2001 attacks); Davis
v. Kvalheim, 261 Fed.Appx. 231, 234 (11th Cir. 2008)
(holding that complaint may be dismissed before service of
process where its legal theories are indisputably meritless).
foregoing reasons, it is ORDERED AND
ADJUDGED that the Complaint, ECF No.
, is DISMISSED WITHOUT
PREJUDICE, and the Motion, ECF No.
, is DENIED AS MOOT. The Clerk
of Court shall CLOSE this case.
See Watson v. Dep't of
Corrs., No. 12-cv-60652-Williams/White (28 U.S.C. §
2254 petition); Watson v. U.S. Dep't of Justice,
No. 15-cv-62553-Cohn/White (Freedom of Information Act
request); Watson v. Dep't of Corrs., No.
16-cv-61121-Zloch/White (28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition);
Watson v. U.S. Dep't of Justice, No.
15-cv-23464-Ungaro/White (prior § ...