Doctor v. Cruz
ORDER dismissing the case without prejudice; directing the Clerk to enter judgment, close the case, and terminate any pending motions. Signed by Judge Brian J. Davis on 10/8/2019. (KLC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
ARMANDO J. DOCTOR,
Case No. 3:19-cv-970-J-39JRK
DR. F. CRUZ,
ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE
Plaintiff initiated this action on August 21, 2019, by filing
a Complaint (Doc. 1; Complaint), and a request to proceed as a
pauper (Doc. 2). Plaintiff executed a civil rights complaint form
and swore under penalty of perjury that the information contained
in the complaint was true and correct. See Complaint at 7. In
completing the civil rights complaint form, Plaintiff responded
“yes” to having filed other cases with similar facts, though he
failed to provide information about those cases other than the
counties in which he filed them, claiming lack of memory. Id. at
3. He similarly responded “yes” to having filed other cases based
on the conditions of his confinement, though he provided no
information about those cases, nor did he indicate whether they
were the same as those he vaguely referenced in response to the
previous question. Id. at 4. Finally, Plaintiff responded “no” to
having had any action “dismissed as frivolous, malicious, failing
to state a claim, or prior to service.” Id.
Because Plaintiff failed to disclose all his previously filed
cases, including those dismissed as frivolous or malicious, the
Court directed Plaintiff to show cause why the case should not be
dismissed. See Order (Doc. 5). In a one-paragraph response (Doc.
6; Response), Plaintiff states he did not intend to be dishonest,
but he could not remember the cases numbers of his prior cases, as
he noted in the civil rights complaint form. Response at 1.
A court may, in its discretion, dismiss a complaint for abuse
of the judicial process if a pro se plaintiff knowingly and
misrepresents his litigation history. See Jenkins v. Hutcheson,
708 F. App’x 647, 648–49 (11th Cir. 2018) (per curiam); Harris v.
Warden, 498 F. App’x 962, 964 (11th Cir. 2012) (per curiam); Redmon
v. Lake Cty. Sheriff’s Office, 414 F. App’x 221, 225-26 (11th Cir.
2011) (per curiam).
The Court finds Plaintiff’s misrepresentation of his prison
further finds his Response to the Court’s order to show cause
unsatisfactory. Importantly, by signing the civil rights complaint
information was true and correct. Complaint at 7. Moreover, the
civil rights complaint form warns, in all capital letters, that a
plaintiff’s “failure to disclose all prior civil cases may result
in the dismissal of this case.” Id. at 3 (emphasis in original).
Even if Plaintiff could not recall specific case numbers, his
failure to provide any of the requested information suggests an
frustrating this Court’s efficient review of his Complaint. See
Jenkins, 708 F. App’x at 648–49 (affirming the district court’s
sanction of dismissal because the plaintiff’s failure to disclose
previous lawsuits, even if unintentional, frustrated the district
court’s ability to perform its screening function under the Prison
Litigation Reform Act).
More egregiously, however, Plaintiff responded “no” to having
had any action “dismissed as frivolous, malicious, failing to state
a claim, or prior to service,” which constitutes an affirmative
Harris, 498 F. App’x
at 965-66 (affirming dismissal for the
history because the plaintiff made no attempt to disclose case
information despite knowing he had filed cases previously). See
also Redmon, 414 F. App’x at 225-26 (affirming the district court’s
dismissal of the complaint because the plaintiff misrepresented
litigant, stated he did not understand the complaint form).
Significantly, Plaintiff has previously been cautioned about
his obligation to answer truthfully and to disclose all prior cases
when completing the civil rights complaint form. See Order (Doc.
11), Case No. 3:15cv273/MCR/EMT, United States District Court for
Indeed, in the Northern District case, the Court adopted the
Plaintiff’s civil rights action because he failed to disclose cases
previously dismissed as “frivolous, malicious, failing to state a
claim, or prior to service,” even though he partially disclosed
his litigation history by identifying one case he filed in 2013.
See Order (Doc. 12), Northern District case.
To effectively screen and manage the cases before it, this
Court must require all litigants, especially those proceeding pro
se, to approach the Court with candor and to abide Court orders
and instructions. Not only did Plaintiff fail to accurately and
truthfully disclose his litigation history, in his Response to the
order to show cause, he did not acknowledge or explain why he
responded “no” to having had any action “dismissed as frivolous,
malicious, failing to state a claim, or prior to service.” See
Response at 1. As such, the Court concludes dismissal without
prejudice is an appropriate sanction under these circumstances.1
In his Complaint, Plaintiff complains of conduct that
occurred in May 2019. See Complaint at 5. Thus, a dismissal of the
If Plaintiff decides to file another civil rights action in this
Court, he must completely and truthfully respond to all questions
on the civil rights complaint form.
Accordingly, it is now
ORDERED AND ADJUDGED:
This case is DISMISSED without prejudice under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B) for Plaintiff’s abuse of the judicial process.
The Clerk of Court shall enter judgment dismissing this
case, close the case, and terminate any pending motions.
DONE AND ORDERED at Jacksonville, Florida, this 8th day of
Armando J. Doctor
Complaint will not be tantamount to a dismissal with prejudice
because the four-year limitations period has not run.
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