United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
Anthony G. Bryant, Plaintiff,
US Department of Education, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosive, Drug Enforcement Administration, Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
GORDON BAKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Bryant (“Plaintiff”) is a nonprisoner litigant
who is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis. Pursuant to
28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1) and Local Rule 73.02(B)(2)(D.S.C.),
the United States Magistrate Judge is authorized to review
the record and to submit findings and recommendations to the
United States District Judge. Upon review, the Magistrate
Judge recommends that the Amended Complaint (DE#11) should be
summarily dismissed with prejudice, and without issuance and
service of process for the following reasons:
se pleadings are given liberal construction and are held
to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by
attorneys. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007). However, “[t]he ‘special judicial
solicitude' with which a district court should view ...
pro se filings does not transform the court into an advocate.
United States v. Wilson, 699 F.3d 789, 797 (4th Cir.
2012), cert. denied, 133 S.Ct. 2401 (2013). Only those
questions which are squarely presented to a court may
properly be addressed.” Weller v. Dept. of Soc.
Servs., City of Baltimore, 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir.
1990). Giving “liberal construction” does not
mean that the Court can ignore a prisoner's clear failure
to allege facts that set forth a cognizable claim.
“Principles requiring generous construction of pro se
complaints ... [do] not require ... courts to conjure up
questions never squarely presented to them.”
Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278
(4th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1088 (1986).
Standard of Review
application, an indigent litigant may commence an action
“in forma pauperis” in federal court without
prepaying the administrative costs of proceeding with the
lawsuit. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). To protect against
possible abuses of this privilege, the statute allows the
court to dismiss the case upon finding that the action is
“frivolous or malicious, ” “fails to state
a claim on which relief may be granted, ” or
“seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C.
§1915(e)(2)(B). A finding of frivolity can be made where
the complaint lacks an arguable basis either in law or in
fact. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992).
Under 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B), a claim based on a
meritless legal theory may be dismissed sua sponte “at
any time.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319,
326 (1989). “Rule 12(b)(6) authorizes a court to
dismiss a claim on the basis of a dispositive issue of
Inherent Authority to Dismiss Frivolous Case
United States Supreme Court has observed that federal
district courts possess inherent authority to dismiss a
frivolous case. See Mallard v. United States District
Court, 490 U.S. 296, 307-08 (1989) (“Section
1915(d) ... authorizes courts to dismiss a ‘frivolous
or malicious' action, but there is little doubt they
would have power to do so even in the absence of this
statutory provision.”); see also Hagans v.
Lavine, 415 U.S. 528, 536-537 (1974) (holding that
federal district courts may dismiss claims that are “so
attenuated and unsubstantial as to be absolutely devoid of
with such authority, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has
held that “frivolous complaints are subject to summary
dismissal pursuant to the inherent authority of the
court.” Ross v. Baron, 493 Fed.Appx. 405, 406
(4th Cir. Aug. 22, 2012); and see, e.g., Cabbill v.
United States, No. 1:14-cv-4122-JMC-PJG, 2015 WL
6905072, *5 (D.S.C. Nov. 9, 2015) (same), appeal dism'd,
2016 WL 1085106 (4th Cir. Mar. 21, 2016); Anderson v.
Patterson, No. 6:16-761-MGL-JDA, 2016 WL 1743095 (D.S.C.
April 12, 2016), adopted by 2016 WL 1732763 (D.S.C. May 2,
2016). “A suit is frivolous if it lacks an arguable
basis in law or fact.” Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 325;
McLean v. United States, 566 F.3d 391, 399 (4th Cir.
the present Complaint is subject to review pursuant to the
inherent authority of this Court to ensure that subject
matter jurisdiction exists and that the case is not
frivolous. See e.g., Carter v. Ervin, No.
0:14-cv-00865-TLW-PJG, 2014 WL 2468351, *3 (D.S.C. June
2, 2014), appeal dism'd, 585 Fed.Appx. 98 (4th Cir.
2014); Mayhew, 2014 WL 468938 at *1, fn.1 (exercising
inherent authority to summarily dismiss a frivolous case).
filed a nonsensical Complaint (DE# 1, 08/13/2018). This Court
gave Plaintiff an opportunity to amend his pleading. (DE# 7,
Order of 08/15/2018). Plaintiff subsequently filed an Amended
Complaint (DE# 11). In his Amended Complaint, Plaintiff names
four federal agencies as Defendants: the United States
Department of Education, Federal Bureau of Investigation
(“FBI”), Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosive
(“ATF”), and the Drug Enforcement Administration
Amended Complaint's “Statement of the Claim”
consists of the following (verbatim):
Filed 1977 Inspector General complaint claiming waste, fraud
and abuse of federal financial insurance racial patterns c 42
U.S.C. § ...