United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Southern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
CHARLES S. COODY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
an inmate incarcerated at the Houston County Jail in Dothan,
Alabama, files this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action challenging
the conditions of confinement at the jail, a denial of
adequate medical care, and a denial of equal protection.
Plaintiff requests injunctive relief, damages for the alleged
violations of his constitutional rights, and trial by jury.
Upon review, the court concludes that dismissal of this case
prior to service of process is appropriate under 28 U.S.C.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), a court is authorized to allow
indigent litigants to proceed in forma pauperis
without paying administrative costs of proceeding with a
civil or criminal action or appeal. The statute, however,
protects against abuses of this privilege by allowing a
district court to dismiss a case “at any time if the
court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . is
frivolous or malicious.” 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(i). Similarly, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A,
courts are required, before docketing (or as soon as
practicable), to “screen” the complaint. 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Upon this screening, “the court
shall . . . 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.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
complaint permitted to proceed in forma pauperis
which merely “repeats pending or previously litigated
claims may be considered abusive and dismissed under the
authority of section 1915[e)(2)(B)(i)]” as
“malicious.” Bailey v. Johnson, 846 F.2d
1019, 1021 (5th Cir. 1988) (citations omitted) (finding the
court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing an action as
duplicative of prior litigation containing the same claims
but against different defendants); Bagby v.
Karriker, 555 Fed. App'x. 405, 406 (5th Cir. 2014)
(unpublished) (affirming the dismissal of the complaint as
malicious and frivolous because it duplicated a prior action
as the claims it raised could be fairly said to be arising
from the same series of events); Perry v. Culliver,
2012 WL 1994917, at *2 (S.D. Ala.) (dismissing a duplicative
action as malicious when the same allegations were made but
against different defendants), adopted, 2012 WL 1994914 (S.D.
Ala. 2012). “A litigant whose filing fees and court
costs are assumed by the public, unlike a paying litigant,
lacks an economic incentive to refrain from filing frivolous,
malicious, or repetitive lawsuits.” Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992) (quoting Neitzke
v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989)).
determining whether a dismissal is warranted, there is no
specific test to follow. Rather, courts are “vested
with especially broad discretion.” Green v.
McKaskle, 788 F.2d 1116, 1119 (5th Cir. 1986). Courts
generally look to the identity of the parties, the legal and
factual claims, and the relief sought to determine if the
complaint is repetitive or malicious. See Bailey,
846 F.2d at 1021; Ridge Gold Standard Liquors, Inc. v.
Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, Inc., 572 F.Supp. 1210,
1213 (N.D. Ill. 1983) (“Generally . . . a suit is
duplicative of another suit if the claims, parties, and
available relief do not significantly differ between the two
actions.”). The complaint filed in this case relies on
the same challenges against the same defendants as other
complaints filed by Plaintiff with this court. The court has
considered each aspect of Plaintiff's litigation and
finds his complaint is repetitive regarding claims he
presents in Balcom v. Valenza, Civil Action No.
1:19-CV-81-WHA (M.D. Ala.), and Balcom v. Valenza,
Civil Action No. 1:19-CV-116 (M.D. Ala.).
Plaintiff files a new cause of action which asserts identical
allegations as presented in earlier causes of action filed
with this court. Those complaints remain pending. Because the
subject of Plaintiff's complaint arises out of the same
factual allegations asserted by him in the earlier civil
actions, it is subject to dismissal under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(i) as duplicative and malicious. See
Bailey, 846 F.2d at 1021; Ridge Gold, 572
F.Supp. at 1213 (N.D. Ill. 1983) (“The irrationality of
tolerating duplicative litigation in the federal system is
all the more pronounced where, as here, two federal judges
sitting on the same district court are . . . devoting scarce
judicial resources to the adjudication of the same
charges.”); Curtis v. Citibank, N.A, 226 F.3d
133, 138 (2d Cir. 2000) (“As part of its general power
to administer its docket, a district court may stay or
dismiss a suit that is duplicative of another federal court
it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that
Plaintiff's complaint be DISMISSED with prejudice prior
to service of process under 28 U.S.C. §
that on or before March 18, 2019, Plaintiff
may file an objection to the Recommendation. Any objection
filed must specifically identify the factual findings and
legal conclusions in the Magistrate Judge's
Recommendation to which Plaintiff objects. Frivolous,
conclusive or general objections will not be considered by
the District Court. This Recommendation is not a final order
and, therefore, it is not appealable.
to file a written objection to the proposed findings and
recommendations in the Magistrate Judge's report shall
bar a party from a de novo determination by the
District Court of factual findings and legal issues covered
in the report and shall “waive the right to challenge
on appeal the district court's order based on
unobjected-to factual and legal conclusions” except
upon grounds of plain error if necessary in the interests of
justice. 11th Cir. R. 3-1; see Resolution Trust Co. v.
Hallmark Builders, Inc., 996 F.2d 1144, 1149 (11th Cir.
1993); Henley v. Johnson, 885 F.2d 790, 794 (11th