United States District Court, S.D. Florida
REPORT OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Introduction and Background
Cause is before the Court upon periodic review of the case in
light of this Court's previous orders directing Plaintiff
to amend his complaint. [ECFs 6, 9, and 13]. This civil
rights action presents a procedural history that amounts to
the failure of Plaintiff to comply with this Court's
present, no defendants have been served with process. The
procedural history of this case is worthy of discussion. On
or about May 4, 2019, Plaintiff filed a complaint pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 as an impermissible shotgun pleading.
[ECF 1]. Plaintiff has sued the Florida Department of
Corrections (FDOC), Turner Guilford Knight Correctional
Facility (TGK), an unnamed “mental health correction
supervisor, ” the State of Florida, Lt. Davis, and Sgt.
Miller is no model of clarity. [Id.]. As best can be
determined, Plaintiff was in mental health treatment at TGK
from September 27, 2017 through November 17, 2017.
[Id. at p. 2]. Defendant Miller took him to a cell
where a group of “white Spanish inmates” had an
icepick. [Id.]. Plaintiff seems to allege that he
was stabbed and was bleeding from his back and was then taken
to medical for evaluation. [Id.]. Plaintiff provides
no other facts regarding the incident. [Id.].
Corporal Jean transported Plaintiff to Jackson Memorial
Hospital. [Id.]. Officer Applewhite notified Captain
Jones, Lt. Green, Lt. Smith, and a female lieutenant.
[Id.]. Plaintiff claims he is not safe and is afraid
he may get stabbed while in custody. He seeks $350, 000, 000
in damages. [Id. at pp. 2-3].
Court issued an order to amend, identifying certain
deficiencies in the complaint. [ECF 6]. The Court also
advised Plaintiff of the futility of suing entities (i.e.
FDOC, State of Florida) covered by established immunity
doctrines, particularly, Eleventh Amendment immunity.
[Id.]. The Court provided Plaintiff with specific
instructions and the proper form for filing a § 1983
action, and ordered him to submit his amended complaint by
June 1, 2019. [Id.]. The Court noted that failure to
comply with Court orders would result in dismissal of the
filed three amended complaints: one on May 23, 2019
[ECF 7]; and two others on June 18 [ECFs 11, 12]. The Court
acknowledged that Plaintiff was litigating at least three
§ 1983 actions in this Court and advised Plaintiff that
it appeared that the complaints were filed in the instant
case in error, in particular, because ECF 7 and ECF 12 did
not seem to be at all related to the allegations of the
instant case. [Id. at p. 2]. Although ECF 11 seemed
to be more closely related to the initial complaint, in an
abundance of caution the Court explained these matters in its
order striking the three amended complaints and gave
Plaintiff another opportunity to amend to ensure there was no
confusion. [Id. at p. 3]. Again, the Court explained
the prohibition of filing shotgun pleadings and the futility
of suing parties covered by established immunity doctrines.
[Id. at pp. 3-5]. Accordingly, Plaintiff was granted
until August 30, 2019, to file a
proper amended complaint. [Id. at p. 8]. The Court
reminded Plaintiff that failure to comply with Court orders
would result in dismissal of the case. [Id.]. The
Court granted Plaintiff in forma pauperis status and
established a debt for the filing fee. [ECF 14].
the date of this Report, Plaintiff has failed to comply with
the Court's order regarding the filing of an amended
complaint that comports with the Rules governing these
proceedings. The Court must now address Plaintiff's
failure to comply with this Court's directive and failure
to prosecute this case. For the reasons set forth below, the
undersigned recommends that the complaint be dismissed with
district court may dismiss a plaintiff's claims sua
sponte pursuant to either Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b)
(“Rule 41(b)”) or the court's inherent
authority to manage its docket. Link v. Wabash Railroad
Company, 370 U.S. 626 (1962); Coleman v. St. Lucie
Cty. Jail, 433 Fed.Appx. 716, 718 (11th Cir. 2011)
(citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b) and Betty K Agencies, Ltd. v.
M/V MONADA, 432 F.3d 1333, 1337 (11th Cir. 2005)). In
particular, Rule 41(b) allows for the involuntary dismissal
of a plaintiff's claims where he has failed to prosecute
those claims, comply with the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure or local rules, or follow a court order.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b); see also Coleman, 433 Fed.Appx.
at 718; Sanders v. Barrett, No. 05-12660, 2005 U.S.
App. LEXIS 22496, 2005 WL 2640979, at *1 (11th Cir. Oct. 17,
2005) (citing Kilgo v. Ricks, 983 F.2d 189, 192
(11th Cir. 1993)); cf. Local R. 41.1(b)
(“[T]he assigned Judge may, after notice to counsel of
record, sua sponte ... dismiss any action for want
of prosecution, with or without prejudice[, ] ... [based on]
willful disobedience or neglect of any order of the
Court.” (emphasis omitted)). Additionally, a district
court's “power to dismiss is an inherent aspect of
its authority to enforce its orders and ensure prompt
disposition of lawsuits.” Brown v. Tallahassee
Police Dep't, 205 Fed.Appx. 802, 802 (11th Cir.
2006) (quoting Jones v. Graham, 709 F.2d 1457, 1458
(11th Cir. 1983)).
this Court carefully exercises its discretion to dismiss
cases, dismissal of this action with prejudice is warranted
given Plaintiff's record in this case. See Morewitz
v. West of England Ship Owners Mutual Protection and
Indemnity, Ass'n., 62 F.3d at 1366. The Eleventh
Circuit has found that a plaintiff's failure to follow a
court's lawful order is strike-worthy as being an abuse
of the judicial process. See Malautea v. Suzuki Motor
Co., 987 F.2d 1536, 1544 (11th Cir. 1993).
Plaintiff failed to amend his complaint in the manner
requested by the Court; therefore, the case is unable to
proceed. In addition, Plaintiff was given ample time to
follow the Court's directive but failed to comply.
Accordingly, this case should be DISMISSED with prejudice for
failure to prosecute and failure to follow this Court's
it would be futile for Plaintiff to amend his complaint.
Although 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) applies only to those
proceeding in forma pauperis, a court has the
authority to dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim
regardless of whether the inmate is able to pay the filing
fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). Section 1915A requires
screening of any “civil action in which a prisoner
seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or
employee.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). “On review,
the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the
complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint
is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted.” Id. § 1915A(b);
see also Bingham v. Thomas, 654 F.3d 1171, 1175
(11th Cir. 2011) (per curiam) (“A district
court may dismiss sua sponte a complaint [under
§ 1915A] if it…fails to state a claim.”
(quotation omitted)). The standard employed in this screening
is the same as the standard used for a motion to dismiss.
Boxer X v. Harris, 437 F.3d 1107, 1110 (11th Cir.
2006). The facts alleged in the complaint are accepted as
true, and the complaint will not be dismissed if it
“include[s] factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Jones v. Fla. Parole
Comm'n, 787 F.3d 1105, 1106-07 (11th Cir. 2015)
(quotation omitted). Furthermore, courts hold complaints that
pro se prisoners file to “less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers[.]”
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972) (per
Plaintiff filed a shotgun pleading where he names a number of
defendants including the State of Florida and the FDOC yet
fails to specify which acts or omissions are attributable to
any defendant. See Weiland v. Palm Beach Cty.
Sheriff's Office, 792 F.3d 1313, 1321-23 (11th Cir.
2015). The Eleventh Circuit has repeatedly condemned the use
of shotgun pleadings for “imped[ing] the administration
of the district courts' civil docket.” PVC
Windoors, Inc., v. Babbitbay Beach Constr., N.V., 598
F.3d 802, 806 n. 4 (11th Cir. 2010). Such pleadings are
unacceptable forms of establishing a claim for relief and are
due to be dismissed. Strategic Income Fund, LLC v. Spear,
Leeds & Kellogg Corp., 305 F.3d 1293, 1296 (11th
complaint makes general, conclusory allegations against the
State and the FDOC simply because the detention center falls
under the general umbrella of the State. The State of Florida
and the FDOC are immune from monetary damages based upon the
Eleventh Amendment. Gamble v. Fla. Dep't. of Health
and Rehabilitative Services, 779 F.2d 1509, 1512-13
(11th Cir. 1986). This is so because the Eleventh Amendment
of the U.S. Constitution bars suit against a state in federal
court absent valid congressional override, waiver of
immunity, or consent to suit. See Wusiya v. City of Miami
Beach, 614 Fed.Appx. 389, 393 (11th Cir. 2015)
(alteration added). Section 1983 does not abrogate state
sovereign immunity for damage suits; and Florida has not
waived its immunity from § 1983 suits. Id. A
state and an agency of a state are, thus, immune from
liability under § 1983. See Williams v.