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Jackson v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

April 16, 2018

JOSHUA WILLIAM JACKSON (BOP Register No. 54191-177), Petitioner,



         This pro se action has been referred to the undersigned United States magistrate judge for pretrial management under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and a standing order of reference from Chief Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn. The undersigned enters these findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation that, for the reasons stated below, the Court should dismiss this action without prejudice under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b).

         Applicable Background

         On January 31, 2018, Joshua William Jackson, a federal prisoner, filed a pro se Replevin Complaint seeking to recover property he values at $5 billion - described as identification numbers, a date (possibly his birth date), a civil case number, “All Bonds, ” “Any and all Judgment(s); Lien(s) Levies; Mortgage(s); and Mortgagee(s), ” and “Any and all indictment(s) State and Federal.” See Dkt. No. 3. Attached to the Replevin Complaint (against the United States as “an individual” and several federal prosecutors) is a proposed “Order to Show Cause Re: Writ of Possession.” See Id. On February 5, 2018, the Court entered a Notice of Deficiency and Order (the “NOD”) providing that

         [w]hile Jackson's Replevin Complaint has been docketed as a petition for writ of mandamus, this Court must construe a prisoner's pro se filings, no matter how labeled, based on the relief sought. And the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

has referred to mandamus as a “remedy, ” In re First South Sav. Ass'n, 820 F.2d 700, 706 (5th Cir. 1987), that is available upon proof of certain “elements, ” United States v. O'Neil, 767 F.2d 1111, 1112 (5th Cir. 1985). Although such terms suggest that mandamus is a separate action, this circuit has also described the writ as a method of “supervisory control of the district courts.” United States v. Comeaux, 954 F.2d 255, 261 (5th Cir. 1992). In further support of the notion of mandamus as a form of appeal, a panel of the Fifth Circuit held that a court of appeals must have an independent basis of jurisdiction over the matter because “the writ [of mandamus] must issue ‘in aid of' that jurisdiction.” Hamilton v. Morial, 644 F.2d 351, 354 (5th Cir. 1981).

In re Stone, 118 F.3d 1032, 1033 (5th Cir. 1997).

In Stone, the mandamus petition “arose out of a § 2255 petition for post-conviction relief.” Id. at 1034. Here, however, it is not clear if Jackson's mandamus petition is related to an underlying action, which leads the undersigned to construe this action as a civil action against the United States (under the Federal Torts Claim Act (“FTCA”)) and employees of the United States (under Bivens v. Six Unknown Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971)). Cf. Keelen v. F.B.I., 78 Fed.Appx. 389, 390 (5th Cir. 2003) (per curiam) (a writ of mandamus “is not available if the petitioner has an alternative remedy, ” such as “in the form of civil rights actions” (citation omitted)).
Accordingly, Jackson may file an amended complaint that complies with the applicable pleading standards:
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, but a plaintiff must allege more than labels and conclusions, and, while a court must accept all of the plaintiff's allegations as true, it is “‘not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). A threadbare or formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, will not suffice. See Id. But, to survive dismissal under Twombly and Iqbal, a plaintiff need only “plead facts sufficient to show” that the claims asserted have “substantive plausibility” by stating “simply, concisely, and directly events” that a plaintiff contends entitle him or her to relief. Johnson v. City of Shelby, Miss., 574 U.S., 135 S.Ct. 346, 347 (2014) (per curiam) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)-(3), (d)(1), (e)).
Attached to this order is a form civil rights complaint - prisoner that Jackson must complete, date and sign, and return to the Court no later than March 7, 2018. His failure to do so will result in a recommendation that this action be dismissed for failure to prosecute and obey orders of the Court. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b).
Further, the Court will not screen Jackson's amended complaint, should one be filed, until either (1) the full filing fee ($400.00) is received or (2) he files a proper motion to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”) and attaches to that motion a certificate of inmate trust account.
To remedy this deficiency, also attached to this order is a form application to proceed IFP - prisoner. And it is hereby ORDERED that Jackson must (if he qualifies to proceed IFP) complete and file his IFP motion no later than March 7, 2018. But if the Court receives the full filing fee before that time, Jackson may disregard this portion of the order, and the Court will screen his claims as presented in the completed form complaint to be filed. Failure to either pay the filing fee or move to proceed IFP by March 7, 2018 will also result in a recommendation that the complaint be dismissed for failure to prosecute. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b).
Jackson is also CAUTIONED that, as the Prison Litigation Reform Act (the “PLRA”) applies to this civil action, under the PLRA, “[a] prisoner proceeding IFP in the district court is obligated to pay the full filing fee upon the filing of a complaint. [28 U.S.C.] § 1915(b)(1). No. relief from an order directing payment of the filing fee should be granted for a voluntary dismissal.” Hatchet v. Nettles, 201 F.3d 651, 654 (5th Cir. 2000) (per curiam) (citing Williams v. Roberts, 116 F.3d 1126, 1128 (5th Cir. 1997); McGore v. ...

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