United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
JAMES D. SMITH, Plaintiff,
LATONYA BURROWS, ET AL., Defendants.
ORDER DIRECTING PLAINTIFF TO FILE AN AMENDED
COMPLAINT AND TO COMPLY WITH 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(a)(1)-(2) OR PAY THE ENTIRE $400 CIVIL FILING
D. TODD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
January 24, 2017, Plaintiff James D. Smith, an inmate at the
Leon County Jail in Tallahassee, Florida, filed a pro
se document titled “1983 Prisoner Complaint, Civ.
Title 5 & 6, Crim 181512 - 18:249, ADA Act.” (ECF
No.1.) The Defendants are listed as Attorney LaTonya Burrows,
the Shelby County Mayor's Office, the State of Tennessee,
and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. (Id.) Plaintiff
did not pay the $400 civil filing fee or submit an
application to proceed in forma pauperis and a
certified copy of his inmate trust account for the last six
months, as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b).
“complaint” states, in its entirety: “Comes
now the plaintiff James D. Smith by and through pro se status
moving for the Clerk to issue 4 copies forma pauperis packets
to proceed with the above titled cases - crim &
civil.” (ECF No. 1.)
se complaints are to be held ‘to less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, ' and
should therefore be liberally construed.”
Williams, 631 F.3d at 383 (quoting Martin v.
Overton, 391 F.3d 710, 712 (6th Cir. 2004)). Pro
se litigants, however, are not exempt from the
requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989);
see also Brown v. Matauszak, 415 F. App'x 608,
612, 613 (6th Cir. Jan. 31, 2011) (affirming dismissal of
pro se complaint for failure to comply with
“unique pleading requirements” and stating
“a court cannot ‘create a claim which [a
plaintiff] has not spelled out in his pleading'”
(quoting Clark v. Nat'l Travelers Life Ins. Co.,
518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir. 1975))); Payne v. Sec'y
of Treas., 73 F. App'x 836, 837 (6th Cir. 2003)
(affirming sua sponte dismissal of complaint
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) and stating,
“[n]either this court nor the district court is
required to create Payne's claim for her”); cf.
Pliler v. Ford, 542 U.S. 225, 231 (2004)
(“District judges have no obligation to act as counsel
or paralegal to pro se litigants.”)
Plaintiff's complaint refers only to broad statutes in
the title of the document. The body of the complaint is
merely a one-sentence request to proceed with the case that
includes no factual allegations or specific causes of action.
Such a request is entirely inadequate to state any claim on
which relief may be granted. Therefore, Plaintiff is ORDERED
to file an amended complaint within 30 days after the date of
this order. The text of the amended complaint must set forth
the specific causes of action that are asserted and must
allege sufficient facts to support each of those claims. If
Plaintiff fails to timely file an amended complaint the Court
will dismiss the case without further notice for failure to
prosecute, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b).
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b), a prisoner bringing a civil
action must pay the filing fee required by 28 U.S.C. §
1914(a). Although the obligation to pay the fee accrues at
the moment the case is filed, see McGore v.
Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 605 (6th Cir. 1997),
partially overruled on other grounds by LaFountain v.
Harry, 716 F.3d 944, 951 (6th Cir. 2013), the PLRA
provides the prisoner the opportunity to make a “down
payment” of a partial filing fee and pay the remainder
in installments. Id. at 604. However, in order to
take advantage of the installment procedures, the prisoner
must complete and submit to the district court, along with
the complaint, an in forma pauperis affidavit and a
certified copy of his inmate trust account statement for the
last six months. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2).
stated, Plaintiff has failed to pay the $400 civil filing fee
or submit an in forma pauperis affidavit and trust
account statement in accordance with the PLRA. Therefore,
Plaintiff is also ORDERED to submit, within 30 days after the
date of this order, either the entire $400 filing fee or a
properly completed and executed application to proceed in
forma pauperis and certified copy of his inmate trust
account statement for the last six months. The Clerk is
directed to mail Plaintiff a copy of the prisoner in
forma pauperis affidavit form along with this order.
Plaintiff timely submits the necessary financial information
and the Court finds that he is indeed indigent, the Court
will grant leave to proceed in forma pauperis and
assess only a $350 filing fee in accordance with the
installment procedures of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). However,
if Plaintiff fails to comply with this order in a timely
manner the Court will deny leave to proceed in forma
pauperis, assess the entire $400 filing fee from his
inmate trust account without regard to the installment
payment procedures,  and dismiss the action without further
notice for failure to prosecute, pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 41(b). McGore, 114 F.3d at 605.
Plaintiff needs additional time to submit either an amended
complaint or his financial information, he may, within 30
days after the date of this order, file a motion for an
extension of time.
 Twenty-eight U.S.C. § 1914(a)
requires a civil filing fee of $350. However, pursuant to
§ 1914(b), “[t]he clerk shall collect from the
parties such additional fees . . . as are prescribed by the
Judicial Conference of the United States.” The Judicial
Conference has prescribed an additional administrative fee of
$50 for filing any civil case, except for cases seeking
habeas corpus and cases in which the plaintiff is granted
leave to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C.