Muhammad v. Carter
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 Court finds that Plaintiff's complaint is frivolous, and it is ordered that, prior to service of process, this action is dismissed with prejudice.. Signed by Judge Kristi K. DuBose on 3/13/2012. (cmj)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
JIBRAIL MALIK MUHAMMAD,
JAMES H. CARTER, SR.,
CIVIL ACTION 12-119-KD-M
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 (Doc. 2). Plaintiff’s motion is
GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.
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
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.
Bilal v. Driver, 251 F.3d 1346, 1348-49 (11th Cir. 2001) (dismissal under § 1915(e) is mandatory).
Several principles guide the Court’s inquiry. First is that, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), “[a]
claim is frivolous if it is without arguable merit either in law or fact.” Bilal v. Driver, 251 F.3d
1346, 1349 (11th Cir. 2001). Another is that, though a pro se litigant’s allegations are to be
construed liberally, the Court “will not serve as de facto counsel or rewrite an otherwise deficient
pleading in order to sustain an action.” Johnson v. Wilbur, 375 F. App’x 960, 963 (11th Cir.
2010) (internal citation and quotation marks omitted).
In the preamble to his eight-page “Petition for Remedies,” Plaintiff claims that he is
entitled to relief (including $500,000,000 in damages) pursuant to, inter alia, the Civil Rights Acts
of 1866 and 1871, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, Title IX of the
Educational Amendments Act of 1972, the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, and the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973. (Doc. 2 at 1 & 7). However, the body of the complaint sets forth no
individual counts or claims or factual allegations concerning James H. Carter, Sr., the sole
defendant in this action, that would plausibly entitle Plaintiff to relief. Indeed, the only allegation
made concerning Dr. Carter is that, at some untold time in the past when Dr. Carter was
Superintendent of the Selma City schools, he told Plaintiff not to lower his standards. (Id. at 2).
Without more, there is no arguable merit to Plaintiff’s claim against Defendant Carter.
In accordance with the foregoing, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s action is frivolous, and it
is ORDERED that, prior to service of process, this action be DISMISSED with prejudice.
Pursuant to Rule 58 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Judgment will be entered by
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
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