United States District Court, D. Minnesota
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Wilhelmina M. Wright United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on the April 2, 2018 Report and
Recommendation (R&R) of United States Magistrate Judge
Tony N. Leung. (Dkt. 108.) Plaintiff Tony Dejuan Jackson
commenced this action pursuant to Title 42, United States
Code, Section 1983, alleging violations of his civil rights
arising from mistreatment and overcrowding in prisons
operated by the State of Minnesota. Jackson also filed
numerous motions for injunctive and other relief. Multiple
defendants move to dismiss. The R&R recommends granting
the motions to dismiss, denying as moot Jackson's motions
for injunctive and other relief, and dismissing with
prejudice Jackson's complaint. Jackson filed timely
objections to the R&R. Jackson thereafter filed three
motions seeking leave to amend his complaint. For the
following reasons, the Court overrules Jackson's
objections, adopts the R&R, dismisses this action with
prejudice, and denies as moot Jackson's motions.
commenced this lawsuit under Title 42, United States Code,
Section 1983, alleging violations of his civil rights during
his incarceration in prisons operated by the State of
Minnesota. Jackson thereafter filed a 163-page
amended complaint, which alleges the following five
violations of his civil rights: (1) unconstitutional
conditions of confinement; (2) unlawful retaliation and mail
tampering; (3) unfair wage practices; (4) occurrences of hate
crimes, harassment, and false imprisonment; and (5) unlawful
denial of Internet access. Jackson seeks injunctive relief,
declaratory relief, $3.5 billion in compensatory damages, and
punitive damages. Jackson subsequently filed additional
motions to enjoin the conduct alleged in his amended
complaint and for other relief related to this lawsuit.
amended complaint names 52 defendants that can be categorized
into three groups-state government officials and entities
(state defendants), corporate entities, and non-governmental
persons. Numerous defendants now move to dismiss
Jackson's amended complaint on a variety of
grounds. The R&R recommends granting the
pending motions to dismiss, denying as moot Jackson's
motions for injunctive and other relief, and dismissing with
prejudice Jackson's amended complaint. Jackson filed
timely objections to the R&R, and he subsequently filed
three additional motions seeking leave to further amend his
R&R recommends dismissing with prejudice Jackson's
amended complaint because it fails to comply with Rule 8,
Fed. R. Civ. P., which requires “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Jackson's amended
complaint, according to the R&R, “entangl[es] 52
defendants in a prolix complaint of obfuscatory
allegations.” Jackson objects, arguing that the amended
complaint states claims for relief under “the
controlling statutes regarding the Claims at issue.”
The Court reviews Jackson's objection de novo. 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(C); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3); LR 72.2(b)(3);
United States v. Lothridge, 324 F.3d 599, 600 (8th
complaint in a civil action must set forth a short and plain
statement showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). A complaint must allege sufficient
facts such that, when accepted as true, a facially plausible
claim for relief is stated. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Factual allegations must be
sufficient to “raise a right to relief above the
speculative level” and “state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 570 (2007). This standard
demands more than unadorned accusations. Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678. “A complaint which lumps all defendants
together and does not sufficiently allege who did what to
whom, fails to state a claim for relief because it does not
provide fair notice of the grounds for the claims made
against a particular defendant.” Tatone v. SunTrust
Mortg., Inc., 857 F.Supp.2d 821, 831 (D. Minn. 2012)
(applying Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure).
amended complaint alleges purported violations of his civil
rights arising from his incarceration in prisons that are
operated by the State of Minnesota. Jackson's amended
complaint spans 163 pages and names 52 defendants. Despite
admonitions to avoid duplication, Jackson repeats verbatim-no
less than 14 times throughout the amended complaint-the
general allegations about his conditions of confinement.
Although the amended complaint cites a variety of
constitutional and statutory provisions, Jackson does not
clearly allege which provisions pertain to the actions of
each defendant. See Liggins v. Morris, 749 F.Supp.
967, 971 (D. Minn. 1990) (observing that complaint was
inadequate under Rule 8 because it “left to the court
to divine what discrete constitutional violations are in fact
legitimate and proper . . . as against each
defendant”). In fact, Jackson does not clearly
attribute any specific allegations to 31 of the 52
named defendants. These pleading failures require the
defendants to speculate about what role (if any) a certain
defendant allegedly had in causing a purported violation of
Jackson's civil rights.
simply, Jackson's allegations are neither short nor
plain. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8. Although as a pro se
party Jackson is accorded leniency as it pertains to the
pleading standards, these pleading defects render the
entirety of Jackson's amended complaint inadequate.
See, e.g., Anderson v. Sixth Judicial Dist.
Court, 521 F.2d 420, 420-21 (8th Cir. 1975) (determining
that a pro se complaint, even liberally construed, must
satisfy the pleading requirements to state a claim);
Martin v. Benson, 827 F.Supp.2d 1022, 1025 (D. Minn.
2011) (same). None of Jackson's objections undermines the
soundness of the R&R's conclusions or remedies the
amended complaint's deficiencies. For these reasons,
Jackson's objections to the R&R are overruled and the
Court need not address the R&R's alternative analyses
of Jackson's claims.
R&R also recommends that the Court dismiss the amended
complaint with prejudice. A party's persistent
failure to comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)
may justify dismissal with prejudice. Michaelis v. Neb.
State Bar Ass'n, 717 F.2d 437, 438-39 (8th Cir.
1983). Here, as thoroughly addressed in the R&R and
despite prior notice, Jackson repeatedly failed to remedy
deficiencies in his motions and pleadings-opting instead for
longer, more convoluted filings. This is Jackson's
fourth attempt at pleading the merits of this
specific cause of action. And Jackson's failure to comply
with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is not an isolated
incident. Because Jackson has a history of filing claims that
fail to state a basis for relief, Jackson already is
restricted by the Prison Litigation Reform Act from pursuing
certain federal claims. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(g). For these reasons, Jackson's amended complaint
is dismissed with prejudice, and Jackson's motions to
amend his complaint are denied as moot.
on the foregoing analysis, the R&R, and the files,
records and proceedings ...