United States District Court, N.D. Florida, Pensacola Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
ELIZABETH M. TIMOTHY, CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, commenced this
action by filing a civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 (ECF No. 1). The matter is before the court on
Plaintiffs amended complaint (ECF No. 7). The court is
statutorily required to review Plaintiffs complaint to
determine whether the action is frivolous or malicious, fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Upon
review, it is apparent Plaintiff has failed to state a viable
claim for relief against the Defendants. It likewise is clear
Plaintiff cannot cure the deficiencies by filing an amended
complaint. See Silva v. Bieluch, 351 F.3d 1045,
1048-49 (11th Cir. 2003) (Generally, "a district court
must grant a plaintiff at least one opportunity to amend
their claims before dismissing them if it appears a more
carefully drafted complaint might state a claim upon which
relief can be granted even if the plaintiff never seeks leave
to amend.”) (quotation omitted). The undersigned thus
recommends the case be dismissed for failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted.
names two Defendants in the action--Florida Department of Law
Enforcement (“FDLE”) and the State Attorney's
Office for Florida's First Judicial Circuit (ECF No. 7 at
1, 2). It appears the matter stems from Plaintiff's
arrest on unspecified charges on October 26, 1998, and
subsequent prosecution (ECF No. 7 at 5). Plaintiff alleges he
appeared in court in Escambia County on October 26, 1999, and
that adjudication of the charges was withheld pursuant to a
plea agreement under which Plaintiff was sentenced to two
years of probation (id.). Plaintiff says that on
December 13, 1999, the State Attorney's Office filed an
“amended plea and probation stipulation” without
providing him notice or an opportunity to be heard
(id.). Plaintiff's probation terminated on March
28, 2001, however, and the case was closed (id.).
complains of alleged “docketing
discrepancies”--specifically, that the original order
terminating his probation was “removed from file and
replaced with another” (id.). On March 30,
2001, Plaintiff maintains, the case was reopened
(id.). Then, on January 25, 2002, according to
Plaintiff (verbatim): “[T]he hearing records were filed
in regards to the October 26, 1999. In this transcript no
mention of Plaintiff being present for the hearing nor was
Plaintiff read charges, agreed to plead, and or addressed by
the court in any manner” (id.). More than a
decade later, Plaintiff apparently received a letter from the
FDLE, dated January 13, 2015, which Plaintiff contends
“contains multiple errors. First the name in which they
responded are [sic] totally incorrect. The filing date and
charges are incorrect” (id. at 6). It appears
Plaintiff requested that the records pertaining to his case
be sealed and, “[o]n April 7, 2015, the FDLE filed a
response to Plaintiff's request to seal records which was
alleges the State Attorney violated his civil rights
“by amending the sentencing, altering the plea
agreement, filing altered notices and orders, and having
incorrect information in the criminal base creating false and
incorrect alias, criminal charges, and plea agreements”
(id. at 7). “The FDLE reviewed the docket
entries court transcript and other correspondence without
correcting the error” (id.). Plaintiff says he
“provided all original documentation . . . at the time
of trial and the FDLE failed to recognize, investigate and or
review the discrepancies” (id.).
relief, Plaintiff seeks “damages for libel, slander,
and denial of civil rights guaranteed by the U.S.
Constitution” (id.). Plaintiff says he
“was able to restore voting but unable to restore his
full rights” (id.). Plaintiff further requests
that the court seal the record and dismiss the charges
against him due “to the actions of the State Attorney
Office of the First Judicial Circuit” (id.).
According to Plaintiff, “[t]hrough manipulation of the
court system the State Attorney's Office was able to
change a plee which would effect Plaintiff's
future” (id. at 8) (errors in original).
Standard of Review
survive dismissal at the screening phase, a complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted). The plausibility standard is met
only where the facts alleged enable “the court to draw
the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. The complaint's
allegations must establish “more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.”
Id. Mere “labels and conclusions or a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do, ” and a plaintiff cannot rely on
“naked assertions devoid of further factual
enhancement.” Id. (internal quotation marks
and alteration omitted); see also Franklin v.
Curry, 738 F.3d 1246, 1251 (11th Cir. 2013). In other
[p]leadings that, because they are no more than conclusions,
are not entitled to the assumption of truth. While legal
conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they
must be supported by factual allegations. When there are
well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their
veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise
to an entitlement to relief.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.
court reads a pro se plaintiff's pleadings in a liberal
fashion and holds them to a less stringent standard than
pleadings drafted by attorneys. See Harris v.
Goderick, 608 Fed.Appx. 760, 761 (11th Cir. 2015).
Nevertheless, in civil rights cases, “[m]ore than mere
conclusory notice pleading is required . . . . A complaint
will be dismissed as insufficient where the allegations it
contains are vague and conclusory.” Gonzalez v.
Reno, 325 F.3d 1228, 1235 (11th Cir. 2003) (quotation
marks and alteration omitted); see also Beaudett v. City
of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985) (holding
that “[p]rinciples requiring ...