Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Ruffin v. N. Rawls

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

August 7, 2019

N. RAWLS, et al., Defendants.



         Plaintiff Anthony Ravon Ruffin, a federal inmate proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, initiated this case by filing a complaint under Bivens (Doc. 1).[1] Finding the complaint deficient, the Court directed Plaintiff to amend. See Order (Doc. 16; Order to Amend). In the Order, the Court informed Plaintiff he may not join multiple, unrelated claims in one complaint. See Order to Amend at 2-3. Even though Plaintiff suggested his numerous claims were related, the Court found he in fact “describe[d] separate and wholly unrelated events that occurred at three (3) different prisons over the course of a few years.” Id. at 3. The Court afforded Plaintiff an opportunity to amend, instructing him to limit his claims to those pertaining to the same transaction, occurrence, or factually related series of transactions or occurrences, which transpired at FCC Coleman. Id. at 4. The Court warned Plaintiff that “if he files an amended pleading that suffers from the same defects as his previous complaint such pleading will be stricken, and the Court will dismiss this case without further notice.” Id.

         Before the Court is Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (Doc. 19; Am. Compl.), along with a “Memorandum of Fact and Law” in which he provides the Defendants' names, his factual allegations, and his claims (Doc. 19-1; Mem.). As Defendants, Plaintiff names nine individuals employed at FCC Coleman, one of whom Plaintiff says he names as a representative of the “female gender class, ” which consists of “523 past and present female staff of F.C.C. Coleman.” See Mem. at 4. Plaintiff asserts claims under the First, Fifth and Eighth Amendments. Id. at 23-25. He seeks injunctive relief and punitive damages. Id. at 28-31.

         Plaintiff has multiple motions pending before the Court as well (Docs. 7, 8, 22-34). In his motions, Plaintiff makes the following requests: that the Court appoint him counsel (Doc. 7); that he be permitted to serve copies of the notice of designation (Doc. 8); that the Court consider by reference documents he filed with his original complaint (Docs. 23, 25, 27); that he be permitted to obtain documents in the possession of FCC Coleman (Docs. 21, 26, 30); that he be permitted to supplement or clarify his claims (Docs. 28, 29, 33); that he be permitted to clarify his gender and submit briefing on the disparity between transgender and cisgender inmates (Docs. 31, 32); and that he be permitted to correct clerical errors (Docs. 33, 34).

         Upon review, Plaintiff's Amended Complaint is subject to dismissal for Plaintiff's failure to comply with the Court's Order to Amend and because he fails to state a claim. As such, the Court will not rule on Plaintiff's motions.

         I. Failure to Comply

         A district court has discretion, under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 41(b), to dismiss a pro se plaintiff's action for his failure to comply with court rules or a court order. See Moon v. Newsome, 863 F.2d 835, 837 (11th Cir. 1989) (“[D]ismissal upon disregard of an order, especially where the litigant has been forewarned, generally is not an abuse of discretion.”).

Rule 41(b) provides that “[i]f the plaintiff fails to prosecute or to comply with these rules or a court order, a defendant may move to dismiss the action or any claim against it.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b). Rule 41(b) provides the district court “discretion to impose sanctions on a party who fails to adhere to court rules.” Zocaras, [2] 465 F.3d at 483. A district court may sua sponte dismiss a case under Rule 41(b). Betty K Agencies, Ltd. v. M/V Monada, 432 F.3d 1333, 1337 (11th Cir.2005).

Powell v. Harris, 628 Fed.Appx. 679, 680 (11th Cir. 2015) (holding the district court did not abuse its discretion dismissing the case without prejudice for the plaintiff's noncompliance with the court's instructions to file a proper complaint). See also Duong Thanh Ho v. Costello, 757 Fed.Appx. 912, 914-15 (11th Cir. 2018) (affirming the district court's dismissal without prejudice for the pro se plaintiff's failure to comply with the court's order to amend).

         Despite the Court's instructions and warning, Plaintiff's Amended Complaint suffers from the same deficiencies as the original. Plaintiff again raises multiple, unrelated claims. Plaintiff alleges the following: Defendant Rawls filed a fictitious disciplinary report against him in retaliation for his grievance-writing; Defendant Taylor failed to process his grievance appeal; Defendant White violated his due process rights with respect to a disciplinary hearing; Defendant Kleckner failed to perform her duties as a case management coordinator; Defendant Dunbar failed to safeguard Plaintiff from gender discrimination; Defendant Cheatham failed to resolve communication barriers; Defendant Goodman harassed Plaintiff and impeded his access to the grievance process; Defendant Wimms retaliated against him and confiscated a letter to his mother; and Defendant Padgett, along with other female staff, “arouse[d] [his] inherent propensity to procreate.” See Mem. at 17, 23-25.

         Plaintiff attempts to demonstrate his claims are bound by a common thread of gender discrimination, which began when Defendant Rawls wrote a disciplinary report against him. However, as before, the Court is not convinced the claims are sufficiently related to be joined in one action. Plaintiff's various claims do not arise out of the “same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a). For instance, the alleged fictitious disciplinary report by Rawls occurred in 2016. See Order to Amend at 2. Most of the other incidents of which Plaintiff complains occurred in 2018, when Plaintiff returned to FCC Coleman after two transfers. See Mem. at 6-7, 9.

         Plaintiff also includes factual allegations against individuals at FCC Allenwood, despite the Court's admonition that, in his original Complaint, he improperly joined “defendants located at multiple prisons.” See Order to Amend at 3-4. Finally, Plaintiff asks the Court to consider by reference the allegations in the memorandum supporting his original complaint, demonstrating an unwillingness to correct the deficiencies the Court warned him would result in a dismissal of the action.[3] See Id. at 4.

         For these reasons, Plaintiff's Amended Complaint is subject to dismissal without prejudice to his right to initiate a new case if he wishes to pursue any of his numerous claims. See Smith v. Owens, 625 Fed.Appx. 924, 928-29 (11th Cir. 2015) (affirming the district court's dismissal of the plaintiff's complaint against ten corrections officers for unrelated excessive-force incidents for the plaintiff's noncompliance with Rule 20). If Plaintiff chooses to re-file his claims, he should keep in mind the below.

         B. ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.