United States District Court, N.D. Florida, Tallahassee Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Michael J. Frank United States Magistrate Judge.
undersigned recommends that this section 1983 action be
dismissed for maliciousness, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and 1915A(b)(1), because the
Plaintiff failed to disclose eight prior civil actions that
he had filed.
28, 2019, Plaintiff, an inmate of the Florida Department of
Corrections (“FDOC”) filed this pro se
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc.
1). United States Magistrate Judge Charles A. Stampelos
granted Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis. (Doc. 4). Plaintiff was not required to
prepay any portion of the filing fee. (Doc. 4). Judge
Stampelos reviewed Plaintiff's civil rights complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and ordered Plaintiff to
amend his complaint because the complaint was
“insufficient as filed.” (Doc. 5). On February
15, 2019, Plaintiff filed his first amended complaint. (Doc.
15). The undersigned reviewed Plaintiff's first amended
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and
1915A and determined that Plaintiff failed to state a
facially plausible claim for relief against several of the
named Defendants. (Doc. 17). On May 1, 2019, the undersigned
ordered Plaintiff to file a second amended complaint or a
notice of voluntary dismissal. (Id.). On August 14,
2019, Plaintiff filed his second amended complaint, the
operative pleading in this action. (Doc. 22).
Screening for Maliciousness
Prisoner Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (“PLRA”),
Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (1996), was enacted in
“an effort to stem the flood of prisoner lawsuits in
federal court.” Harris v. Garner, 216 F.3d
970, 972 (11th Cir. 2000) (en banc); see Procup v.
Strickland, 792 F.2d 1069, 1071 (11th Cir. 1986) (per
curiam) (“Recent years have witnessed an explosion of
prisoner litigation in the federal courts.”). Under the
PLRA, a federal court is required to conduct an initial
screening of a prisoner complaint to determine whether the
action is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. §§
may “oblige prisoners to supply available information
concerning prior lawsuits that concern their
incarceration.” In re Epps, 888 F.2d 964, 969
(2d Cir. 1989). When a complaint form requires a plaintiff to
list his litigation history, and the plaintiff's
statements are made under penalty of perjury, a
plaintiff's affirmative misrepresentation regarding his
prior litigation history constitutes abuse of the judicial
process warranting dismissal of the case for
“maliciousness.” See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and § 1915A(b)(1); Rivera v.
Allin, 144 F.3d 719, 731 (11th Cir. 1998), abrogated
in part on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199,
127 S.Ct. 910 (2007); see also, e.g., Sears v.
Haas, 509 Fed.Appx. 935, 935-36 (11th Cir. 2013)
(holding that dismissal for maliciousness was warranted when
the plaintiff failed to disclose cases he had previously
filed); Harris v. Warden, 498 Fed.Appx. 962, 964-65
(11th Cir. 2012) (holding that dismissal for abuse of the
judicial process was warranted when an inmate failed to
disclose prior cases); Jackson v. Fla. Dep't of
Corr., 491 Fed.Appx. 129, 132-33 (11th Cir. 2012)
(holding that dismissal of an action for maliciousness was
warranted when the plaintiff failed to disclose existence of
a prior case). Furthermore, a “district court [is]
entitled to conclude that Plaintiff ha[s] abused the judicial
process when he failed to” show good cause for not
disclosing all prior lawsuits filed. Redmon v. Lake Cty.
Sheriff's Office, 414 Fed.Appx. 221, 226 (11th Cir.
The Plaintiff's Omissions
IV of the Northern District of Florida complaint form
utilized by the Plaintiff required Plaintiff to disclose
information regarding prior civil cases he filed in state and
federal courts. (Doc. 22 at 4). Question B of Section IV
asks, “Have you initiated other actions in
federal court dealing with the same or
similar facts/issues involved in this action? Plaintiff
responded “Yes, ” and listed Chaney v.
Whitehurt, et al., No. 3:11-cv-801-TJC-JBT (M.D. Fla.
Aug. 1, 2011). (Id.). Question C of Section IV asks:
Have you initiated other actions (besides those listed above
in Question (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)?
(Id. at 5). Plaintiff responded “Yes, ”
and listed Chaney v. Moore, No. 8:01-cv-00846-RAL
(M.D. Fla. May 01, 2001). (Id.). The form states
that a Plaintiff should “Attach additional
pages as necessary to list cases.). Plaintiff
attached exhibits to his second amended complaint, which
disclosed that Plaintiff also had filed the following federal
1. Chaney v. Smith, et al., No.
3:10-cv-00345-MMH-JBT (M.D. Fla. Apr. 22, 2010);
2. Chaney v. McDonell, et al., No.
3:13-cv-00112-TJC-JRK (M.D. Fla. Jan. 31, 2013);
3. Chaney v. Hassett, et al., No.
3:11-cv-801-TJC-JBT (M.D. Fla. Aug. ...