Green v. State Of Florida et al
ORDER granting 146 Defendants Vorease Jones and Capital City Bank's Motion to Dismiss. The claims against Vorease Jones and Capital City Bank are dismissed with prejudice. The Clerk should now close the case. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Corrigan on 7/7/2014. (BJB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
REGINALD A. GREEN,
Case No. 3:12-cv-134-J-32MCR
VOREASE JONES, CAPITAL CITY
This case is before the Court on Defendants Vorease Jones and Capital City
Bank’s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 146) and Plaintiff Reginald A. Green’s response thereto
On January 17, 2014, the Court stayed proceedings pending the
resolution of Green’s notices of appeal. (Doc. 154.) The Eleventh Circuit has since
dismissed both appeals for lack of jurisdiction, which orders were issued as mandates
(Docs. 173, 174), and has denied the motion for reconsideration filed in the first appeal,
Green v. State of Florida, No. 14-10289 (11th Cir. June 9, 2014). The stay is now due
to be lifted, and the motion to dismiss is ripe for resolution. Upon review of the
parties’ submissions and the record in this case, the Court rules as follows.
The Court need not recount the entire procedural history of this case, which is
described more fully in earlier orders (see Docs. 95, 142, 154), but only the portions
relevant to the motion to dismiss. The original complaint was filed on February 7,
2012. (Doc. 1.) The operative complaint is the third amended complaint (Doc. 26),
filed on October 1, 2012.
At one point, Green had named forty-four different
defendants (including public officials and institutions) related to his criminal
convictions in Florida state court. On October 9, 2013, the Court dismissed without
prejudice his claims against all defendants except for Jones and Capital City for failure
to comply with court orders and to prosecute, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 41(b) and Local Rule 3.10, due to his failure to properly serve the
defendants. (Doc. 142.) Jones and Capital City remained because they had waived
any defense of improper service by answering the complaint. (Id. at 2-3.) The Court
did give Jones and Capital City until October 28, 2013 to present their defense for
failure to state a claim in a motion to dismiss. (Id. at 4-5.)
Jones and Capital City timely filed a two-paragraph motion to dismiss, pointing
out that only one sentence in the complaint mentions them at all. (Doc. 146.) Jones
and Capital City argue that, even taking such little information as true, the complaint
does not provide adequate notice of any viable cause of action. (Id.)
Green’s response to the motion to dismiss repeats his earlier arguments
regarding service of process on the defendants that the Court has rejected. (Doc. 147
at 1-2.) Somewhat more substantively, Green argues that Jones and Capital City
violated some unidentified rules and regulations of the Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation and Capital City’s own banking policies by allegedly signing checks and
depositing them in his account without his knowledge or permission. (Id. at 2.)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
When considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the court disregards
conclusory allegations of fact or law in the complaint, Burroughs v. Broadspire, 323 F.
App’x 730, 731 (11th Cir. 2009) (citing Aldana v. Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A., Inc.,
416 F.3d 1242, 1246 (11th Cir. 2005)), but must accept as true all factual allegations
and construe them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, Castro v. Sec’y of
Homeland Sec., 472 F.3d 1334, 1336 (11th Cir. 2006); Hill v. White, 321 F.3d 1334,
1335 (11th Cir. 2003).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only ‘a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.’” Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 89 (2007). “[T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not
require detailed factual allegations, but it demands more than an unadorned, thedefendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (citation and quotation omitted). “[A] complaint [does not] suffice if it tenders
‘naked assertions’ devoid of ‘further factual enhancement.’”
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 557 (2007)).
Id. (quoting Bell Atl.
“To survive a motion to dismiss, a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.’” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). 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 and quotation omitted). Whether a complaint gives reasonable
notice is a question of law. Bejil v. Ethicon, Inc., 269 F.3d 477, 481 (5th Cir. 2001);
Evans v. McClain of Ga., Inc., 131 F.3d 957, 964 n.2 (11th Cir. 1997).
Because Green is proceeding pro se, his pleadings are held to a less stringent
standard than pleadings drafted by an attorney and will be liberally construed.
Koger v. Florida, 130 F. App’x. 327, 332 (11th Cir. 2005) (citing Tannenbaum v. United
States, 148 F.3d 1262, 1263 (11th Cir. 1998)), cert. denied, 546 S. Ct. 1151 (2006).
“This leniency, however, does not give the court a license to serve as de facto counsel
for a pro se litigant . . . or to rewrite an otherwise deficient pleading in order to sustain
an action.” Gibbs v. Republic Tobacco, L.P., 119 F. Supp. 2d 1288, 1290 (M.D. Fla.
2010) (citations omitted).
Even with pro se litigants, “conclusory allegations,
unwarranted deductions of facts or legal conclusions masquerading as facts will not
prevent dismissal” under Rule 12(b)(6). Aldana v. Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A.,
Inc., 416 F.3d 1242, 1246 (11th Cir. 2005) (citation omitted).
It appears that Green is attempting to bring claims relating to his Florida state
court criminal convictions.
Exactly what those claims are is unclear, however,
particularly with respect to Jones and Capital City.
After referring to other
convictions, the complaint alleges that Green was convicted in 2007 of uttering a
forged instrument and was sentenced to seventeen months in prison. (Doc. 26 at 5.)
The paragraph immediately following those allegations, reproduced below, contains
the only references in the complaint to either Jones or Capital City:
(Doc. 26 at 6 (emphasis added).)
These allegations are insufficient to put Jones and Capital City on notice of
what causes of action they are supposed to defend against or what facts are alleged to
support those claims.
The Court has given Green a number of opportunities to
address the deficiencies in his complaint. (See, e.g., Doc. 7, 16, 17, 24.) On this, his
third attempt at amending his complaint, he still has not done so. The Court believes
further attempts would be futile.
Therefore, the motion to dismiss is due to be
granted and the claims against Jones and Capital dismissed with prejudice.
Accordingly, it is hereby
The stay entered in the Court’s January 17, 2014 Order (Doc. 154) is
Defendants Vorease Jones and Capital City Bank’s Motion to Dismiss
(Doc. 146) is GRANTED. The claims in this case against the remaining defendants,
Vorease Jones and Capital City Bank, are DISMISSED with prejudice. The Clerk
should now close this case.
DONE AND ORDERED at Jacksonville, Florida this 7th day of July, 2014.
Counsel of record
Pro se plaintiff
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