Johnson v. Bobbitt et al
ORDER dismissing this case without prejudice as a sanction for providing fase information, denying Plaintiff IFP status on appeal and closing this case. Signed by Magistrate Judge Brian K. Epps on 06/03/2021. (jlh)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
ERIC OBRIEN JOHNSON,
TREVONZA BOBBITT, Warden;
WANADA SHARP, Unit Manager;
CHOVAKA JOHNSON, Unit Manager;
DR. OCHIPINTI; and MS. JONES,
Plaintiff, incarcerated at Georgia State Prison in Reidsville, Georgia, is proceeding
pro se and in forma pauperis (“IFP”) in this case brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Because he is proceeding IFP, Plaintiff’s pleadings must be screened to protect
potential defendants. Phillips v. Mashburn, 746 F.2d 782, 785 (11th Cir. 1984) (per curiam);
Al-Amin v. Donald, 165 F. App’x 733, 736 (11th Cir. 2006) (per curiam). On May 5, 2021,
the Court (1) screened Plaintiff’s amended complaint, (2) determined sanctions under Federal
Rule Civil Procedure 11 were appropriate because Plaintiff had abused the judicial process
by failing to provide truthful information about his prior filing history, and (3) provided
fourteen days to show cause why this case should not be dismissed as a sanction for
providing false information. (See doc. no. 14.) The Court cautioned Plaintiff his case would
be dismissed without prejudice if he did not timely respond to the show cause order. (See id.
The deadline has passed, and Plaintiff has not filed any response to the Court’s May
5th Order. Accordingly, the Court DISMISSES the case without prejudice as a sanction for
providing false information.
Although Plaintiff has not yet filed a notice of appeal, it is appropriate to address
these issues now. See Fed. R. App. P. 24(a)(3)(A) (“A party who was permitted to proceed
in forma pauperis in the district-court action . . . may proceed on appeal in forma pauperis
without further authorization, unless the district court - - before or after the notice of appeal
is filed - - certifies that the appeal is not taken in good faith . . . .”). An appeal cannot be
taken IFP if the trial court certifies, either before or after the notice of appeal is filed, that the
appeal is not taken in good faith. See id.; 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3). Good faith in this context
must be judged by an objective standard. See Busch v. Cnty. of Volusia, 189 F.R.D. 687,
691 (M.D. Fla. 1999) (citing Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438 (1962)). A party does
not proceed in good faith when seeking to advance a frivolous claim or argument. See
Coppedge, 369 U.S. at 445. A claim or argument is frivolous when, on their face, the factual
allegations are clearly baseless or the legal theories are indisputably meritless. Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989); Carroll v. Gross, 984 F.2d 392, 393 (11th Cir. 1993)
(per curiam). Stated another way, an IFP action is frivolous and, thus, not brought in good
faith, if it is “without arguable merit either in law or fact.” Napier v. Preslicka, 314 F.3d 528,
531 (11th Cir. 2002); see also Brown v. United States, Nos. CV 407-085, CR 403-001, 2009
WL 307872, at *1-2 (S.D. Ga. Feb. 9, 2009).
Based on the Court’s analysis in its May 5th Order and as explained above, there are
no non-frivolous issues to raise on appeal, and any appeal would not be taken in good faith.
Thus, the Court DENIES Plaintiff IFP status on appeal, and DIRECTS the CLERK to
CLOSE this case.
SO ORDERED this 3rd day of June, 2021, at Augusta, Georgia.
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