United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
PETER J. SMITH, Plaintiff,
CHICK-FIL-A RSA REGIONS TOWER, and CHICK-FIL-A, INC., Defendants.
ORDER AND RECOMMENDATION
RUSS WALKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Peter J. Smith, proceeding pro se, initiated this
lawsuit on February 15, 2019, by the filing of a civil rights
complaint against defendants “Chick-Fil-A RSA Regions
Tower” and “Chick-Fil-A, Inc.” for failing
to serve him the food that he paid for. Doc. 1. Plaintiff
filed a motion to proceed in forma pauperis. Docs.
2, 2-1. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915,
[A]ny court of the United States may authorize the
commencement, prosecution or defense of any suit, action or
proceeding, civil or criminal, or appeal therein, without
prepayment of fees or security therefor, by a person who
submits an affidavit that includes a statement of all assets
such [person] possesses that the person is unable to pay such
fees or give security therefor. Such affidavit shall state
the nature of the action, defense or appeal and affiant's
belief that the person is entitled to redress.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). The court granted Plaintiff
in forma pauperis status and directed that he file
an amended complaint. Doc. 10. The court instructed,
The amended complaint shall comply with the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure and shall (i) clearly state which causes of
action Plaintiff intends to state against Defendants, and
(ii) for each cause of action alleged, set forth all of the
material facts giving rise to the cause of action clearly and
concisely, without omitting any of the necessary facts as
discussed in this order. The amended complaint may not
incorporate the allegations of Plaintiff's original
complaint, or any other document, by reference; in other
words, the amended complaint must stand on its own.
Id. at 4-5. After an extension of time was granted
to him (Doc. 13), Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on
November 8, 2019. Doc. 14. Upon review of the one-page
amended complaint, the court finds that Plaintiff's
amended complaint is due to be dismissed pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). In relevant part, §
1915(e) provides, “the court shall dismiss the case at
any time if the court determines that . . . the action or
appeal . . . is frivolous or malicious [or] . . . fails to
state a claim on which relief may be granted . . . .”
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
the court construes pro se pleadings liberally,
see Hughes v. Lott, 350 F.3d 1157, 1160 (11th Cir.
2003), pro se litigants must nonetheless follow the
procedural rules, and the court will not be required to
rewrite a deficient pleading. See GJR Invests.,
Inc. v. County of Escambia, 132 F.3d 1359, 1369
(11th Cir. 1998), overruled on other grounds by
Randall v. Scott, 610 F.3d 701, 710 (11th Cir. 2010)
(relying on Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009).
“Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) standards
govern [a court's] review of dismissals under section
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)[.]” Mitchell v. Farcass, 112
F.3d 1483, 1490 (11th Cir. 1997). See also Jones v.
Brown, 649 Fed.Appx. 889, 890 (11th Cir. 2016) (citing
Mitchell, supra) (“We review the
district court's dismissal for failure to state a claim
for which relief may be granted pursuant to §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) de novo, applying the
same standards that govern Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6).”). In considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the
must view the complaint in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff, accepting all of the plaintiff's well-pleaded
facts as true. Am. United Life Ins. Co. v. Martinez,
480 F.3d 1043, 1057 (11th Cir. 2007). Pro se
pleadings are liberally construed and held to a less
stringent standard than pleadings drafted by attorneys.
Powell v. Lennon, 914 F.2d 1459, 1463 (11th Cir.
1990). However, in order to survive a motion to dismiss, the
plaintiff's complaint must contain facts sufficient to
support a plausible claim to relief. [Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678].
Id. Additionally, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8
requires that a plaintiff file a “short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “[T]he pleading
standard Rule 8 announces does not require ‘detailed
factual allegations,' but it demands more than an
accusation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). Therefore, even if liberally construed,
Plaintiff's amended complaint (Doc. 14), must minimally
satisfy Rule 8 to survive review under § 1915(e). This
court has reviewed Plaintiff's amended complaint (Doc.
14) in light of the foregoing principles.
amended complaint, Plaintiff states the following facts: (1)
that his “food stamps increased to $194 per
month;” (2) “Title II violation”; and (3)
“Violation of Civil Rights Act of 1964 as it pertains
to Race and Gender. I am a Black American Male. The
Chick-Fil-A manager is a white female.” Doc. 14.
Plaintiff claims “compensatory and punitive damages in
the amount of $2 million and for a pattern of discrimination
carried out by Chick-Fil-A against me please see prior
Chick-Fil-A case.” Id. Plaintiff also attempts
to incorporate the allegations set forth in his original
complaint (Doc. 1) “such as wire fraud, etc.”
amended complaint entirely supersedes all prior complaints.
See Pintando v. Miami-Dade Housing Agency, 501 F.3d
1241, 1243 (11th Cir. 2007); Fritz v. Standard Life Ins.
Co., 676 F.2d 1356, 1358 (11th Cir. 1982) (finding that
under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure an amended
complaint supersedes the original complaint). Once a
complaint is amended, the only issues before the court are
those raised in the amended document, and the plaintiff may
not rely upon or incorporate by reference his prior
pleadings. Accordingly, the court finds that the cursory
allegation of “wire fraud, etc.” fails to state a
claim on which relief may be granted and is due to be
dismissed. Mitchell, 112 F.3d at 1490; see
18 U.S.C. § 1343.
leaves Plaintiff's Title II claim. Title II of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the grounds of
race, color, religion, or national origin in places of public
accommodation. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000a(a). The
chief purpose of this title is “to [re]move the daily
affront and humiliation involved in discriminatory denials of
access to facilities ostensibly open to the general
public.” Daniel v. Paul, 395 U.S. 298, 307-308
(1969) (quoting H.R. Rep. No. 914, 88th Cong., 1st Sess., 18)
(quotation marks omitted). To state a cause of action under
this statute, Plaintiff “must allege that (1) the
restaurant affects commerce, (2) the restaurant is a public
accommodation, and (3) the restaurateur denied plaintiff full
and equal enjoyment of the restaurant.” Bobbitt by
Bobbitt v. Rage, Inc., 19 F.Supp.2d 512, 521 (W.D. N.C.
1988) (citing 42 U.S.C. § 2000a; Wooten v.
Moore, 400 F.2d 239, 241 (4th Cir. 1968); United
States v. DeRosier, 473 F.2d 749 (5th Cir. 1973)). The
court notes that Plaintiff's remedy, if any, would be
limited to injunctive relief only, not the $2, 000, 000
damages that he seeks. See 42 U.S.C. §
allegations of race and gender discrimination are brief,
vague, and conclusory, and they fail to allege facts
sufficient to support a plausible claim for relief as
required by Iqbal. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678. The statement, “I am a Black American Male [and]
the Chick-Fil-A manager is a white female” (Doc. 14),
offered without any supporting factual detail, is
insufficient to allege unlawful discrimination, and fails to
pass muster under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8. Although
the amended complaint makes a general reference to race and
gender, Plaintiff does not allege specifically that he was
not given his food order, denied service, other otherwise
discriminated against on the basis of his race or gender.
Plaintiff's amended complaint, even liberally construed,
does not state any claim upon which relief could be granted.
Mitchell, 112 F.3d at 1490.
it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that this
matter be DISMISSED prior to service of process in accordance
with 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and that ...