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Bramlett v. Masters

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

October 3, 2019

WILLIAM EDWARD BRAMLETT, Plaintiff,
v.
MELINDA MASTERS, EMILY SALEMA, DONALD SAWYER and FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER [1]

          SHFERI POLSTER CHAPPELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Plaintiff William Edward Bramlett's Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (Doc. 4) filed on August 19, 2019. Because Plaintiff seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court must review his Complaint to determine whether it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii). Upon review of the Complaint, the Court concludes that Plaintiff has failed to present an actionable claim and that dismissal of this case is warranted.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff who is a detainee in the Florida Civil Commitment Center (FCCC) in Arcadia, Florida brings this claim as a civil rights violation under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff originally filed this case in the Tallahassee Division of the Northern District of Florida. The case was transferred to the Tampa Division of the Middle District of Florida and finally transferred to the Fort Myers Division of the Middle District. While the Complaint is sparse on facts, it appears Plaintiff filed a grievance with the FCCC Administration regarding his transfer to a new dormitory. Plaintiff says he did not want to move to another dorm, but that other detainees lied about his desire to move and forged his name on the request form. Plaintiff states that his grievance in this regard was not handled in an appropriate manner and demands to be returned to London dormitory.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A federal district court is required to review a civil complaint filed in forma pauperis and to dismiss any such complaint that is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Section 1915(e)(2) is a screening process to be applied sua sponte and at any time during the proceedings. The mandatory language of 28 U.S.C. § 1915 applies to all proceedings in forma pauperis. The section provides:

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). In making the above determinations, all factual allegations in the complaint must be viewed as true. Brown v. Johnson, 387 F.3d 1344, 1347 (11th Cir. 2004). Moreover, the Court must read the plaintiff's pro se allegations in a liberal fashion. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972).

         A complaint may be dismissed as frivolous under § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) where it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A claim is frivolous as a matter of law where, inter alia, the defendants are immune from suit or the claim seeks to enforce a right that clearly does not exist. Id. at 327.

         Dismissals under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(ii) for failure to state a claim are governed by the same standard as Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Mitchell v. Farcass, 112 F.3d 1483, 1485 (11th Cir. 1997). Under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint may be dismissed if the facts as pleaded do not state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. See Bell Atl. Corp v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007) (retiring the “no set of facts” language previously used to describe the motion to dismiss standard and determining that because the plaintiffs had not “nudged their claims across the line from conceivable to plausible, their complaint must be dismissed” for failure to state a claim). A complaint is also subject to dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) “when its allegations on their face, show that an affirmative defense bars recovery on the claim.” Cottone v. Jenne, 326 F.3d 1352, 1357 (11th Cir. 2003); Marsh v. Butler County, Ala., 268 F.3d 1014, 1022 (11th Cir. 2001).

         DISCUSSION

         Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983 imposes liability on one who, under color of state law, deprives a person “of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws[.]” 42 U.S.C. § 1983. To articulate a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that: (1) a defendant deprived him of a right secured under the Constitution or federal law; and (2) such deprivation occurred under color of state law. Arrington v. Cobb County, 139 F.3d 865, 872 (11th Cir. 1998). ...


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