State of Florida v. Caruthers
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT & RECOMMENDATION AND DISMISSING CASE denying 3 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis; Adopting 6 Report and Recommendations on 3 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis filed by Gant Caruthers, 6 Report and Recommendations,. Certificate of Appealability: No Ruling Closing Case. Signed by Judge Roy K. Altman on 6/3/2021. See attached document for full details. (pcs)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
CASE NO. 21-cv-60848-ALTMAN/Hunt
STATE OF FLORIDA,
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT & RECOMMENDATION AND DISMISSING CASE
The Plaintiff, Gant Caruthers, filed a Notice of Removal [ECF No. 1], consisting of a handful
of incoherent writings and forms, which appear to seek dismissal of an ongoing criminal case in Florida
state court. Caruthers then filed a Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (“IFP Motion”) [ECF No. 3]
because he had not paid the filing fee. The Court referred the IFP Motion to Judge Hunt, who issued
a Report and Recommendation (“Report”) [ECF No. 6], suggesting that the case be dismissed under
28 U.S.C. § 1915.
Since Caruthers is proceeding in forma pauperis, his case must be dismissed under § 1915 if the
Court “determines that the complaint fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted.” Wright v.
Miranda, 740 F. App’x 692, 694 (11th Cir. 2018) (citing 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A(b)(1), 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)).
To state a viable claim, a complaint must contain “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). While a plaintiff need not set out “detailed factual
allegations,” a complaint will not suffice if it “tenders naked assertions devoid of further factual
enhancement.” Id. (internal alterations and quotation marks omitted).
Judge Hunt concluded that Caruthers’ disjointed writings and forms failed to satisfy the
pleading requirements of the Federal Rules. See Report at 2–3. Judge Hunt also found that, even if
those procedural deficiencies could be remedied, Caruthers’ claim that the State of Florida lacks
jurisdiction to prosecute him because he is a “Non-Citizen Nation” is the kind of “sovereign citizen”
suit that courts routinely dismiss as frivolous. See id. (collecting cases involving sovereign-citizen
dismissals). Accordingly, Judge Hunt recommended dismissal and ended with the following notice to
Within fourteen days after being served with a copy of this Report and
Recommendation, any party may serve and file written objections to any of the above
findings and recommendations as provided by the Local Rules for this district. 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); S.D. FLA. MAG. R. 4(b). The parties are hereby notified that a failure
to timely object waives the right to challenge on appeal the district court’s order based
on unobjected-to factual and legal conclusions contained in this Report and
Recommendation. 11th Cir. R. 3–1 (2016); see Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985).
Id. at 3–4.
Rather than object to the Report, Caruthers filed a Notice of Appeal [ECF No. 7], which says
absolutely nothing about the Report’s findings or conclusions, see generally id. Instead, the Notice is
“replete with ‘the legal-sounding but meaningless verbiage commonly used by adherents to the socalled sovereign citizen movement.’” Banks v. Fla., 2019 WL 7546620, at 1 (M.D. Fla. Dec. 17, 2019),
report and recommendation adopted, 2020 WL 108983 (M.D. Fla. Jan. 9, 2020) (quoting Sealey v. Branch
Banking and Trust Co., 2019 WL 1434065, at *2 (M.D. Ala. Feb. 21, 2019)). As of this writing, then,
fourteen days have passed since the Report was issued, and Caruthers hasn’t filed anything resembling
a proper objection. See generally Docket.
Because Caruthers has not properly objected to the Report, the Court “need only satisfy itself
that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation.” FED. R.
CIV. P. 72 advisory committee’s notes (citation omitted). Although Rule 72 itself is silent on the
standard of review, the Supreme Court has acknowledged that Congress’ intent was to require a de
novo review only where objections have been properly filed—and not when neither party objects. See
Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985) (“It does not appear that Congress intended to require district
court review of a magistrate [judge]’s factual or legal conclusions, under a de novo or any other standard,
when neither party objects to those findings.”). In any event, the “[f]ailure to object to the magistrate
[judge]’s factual findings after notice precludes a later attack on these findings.” Lewis v. Smith, 855
F.2d 736, 738 (11th Cir. 1988) (citing Nettles v. Wainwright, 677 F.2d 404, 410 (5th Cir. 1982)).
This Court has carefully reviewed the Report and can find no clear error in it. The Notice of
Removal is frivolous on its face and mostly incomprehensible. Accordingly, the Court hereby
ORDERS and ADJUDGES as follows:
1. The Report [ECF No. 1] is ADOPTED.
2. The IFP Motion [ECF No. 3] is DENIED.
3. The Case is DISMISSED.
4. The Clerk is shall CLOSE the case. All pending deadlines and hearings are
TERMINATED, and any pending motions are DENIED AS MOOT.
DONE AND ORDERED in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this 3rd day of June 2021.
ROY K. ALTMAN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
counsel of record
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