Muhammad v. Dawson

Filing 5

Order granting in part and denying in part 2 motion to proceed IFP and for appointment of counsel filed by Jibrail Malik Muhammad. The motion IFP is granted. Plaintiff's request for counsel is denied. The complaint fails to state a claim u pon which relief can be granted and it is ordered that prior to service of process this action is dismissed without prejudice as set out.. Signed by Judge Kristi K. DuBose on 3/13/2012. (copy of pro se litigant guide and this order mailed to plaintiff) (cmj)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA NORTHERN DIVISION JIBRAIL MALIK MUHAMMAD, Plaintiff, v. VERDELL LETT-DAWSON, Defendant. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) CIVIL ACTION 12-113-KD-M ORDER This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Jibrail Malik Muhammad’s motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis and for appointment of counsel.1 GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. (Doc. 2). Plaintiff’s motion is Specifically, upon review of the financial information provided by Plaintiff, the Court finds that Plaintiff is indigent and may therefore proceed in forma pauperis. However, recognizing both that a civil plaintiff has no constitutional right to counsel and that the Eleventh Circuit has held that courts should appoint counsel only in “exceptional circumstances, such as where facts and legal issues are so novel or complex as to require the assistance of a trained practitioner,” see Dean v. Barber, 951 F.2d 1210, 1216 (11th Cir. 1992), Plaintiff’s request for counsel is DENIED. Because Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court must review Plaintiff’s complaint and dismiss the case if it determines that the action is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim for which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(ii) (2006); see also 1 Plaintiff initially filed his pro se “Petition for Remedies” in the Northern District of Alabama. (Doc. 1). On February 10, 2012, the Honorable C. Lynwood Smith, Jr., United States District Judge for the Northern District of Alabama transferred the case to the Southern District of Alabama along with 44 other apparently related actions that Plaintiff contemporaneously commenced in the Northern District. (Doc. 3). On March 7, 2012, the Clerk of Court assigned each of Plaintiff’s 45 cases to the undersigned. 1 Bilal v. Driver, 251 F.3d 1346, 1348-49 (11th Cir. 2001) (dismissal under § 1915(e) is mandatory). In order to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, a complaint must set forth “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, ‘to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citation omitted). The only allegation set forth in Plaintiff’s complaint concerning Defendant Verdell Lett-Dawson is that, in March 2008, Dr. Dawson assigned Plaintiff to work at the Phoenix Alternative School in East Selma, Alabama. (Doc. 1 at 4). Though a change in work assignments can give rise to a discrimination claim if the change is so substantial and material that it alters the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, see Davis v. Town of Lake Park, 245 F.3d 1232, 1245 (11th Cir. 2001), Plaintiff’s complaint contains no allegations that would allow the Court to reasonably infer that Plaintiff’s reassignment to the Phoenix Alternative School was so substantial as to be actionable. Accordingly, the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, and it is ORDERED that, prior to service of process, this action be DISMISSED without prejudice. The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to send a copy of this order to Plaintiff by U.S. Mail. DONE and ORDERED this the 13th day of March 2012. /s/ Kristi K. DuBose KRISTI K. DuBOSE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 2

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