United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Texarkana Division
W. SCHROEDER III, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Lorenzo Escudero, an inmate of the Texas Department of
Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division,
proceeding pro se, filed this civil rights lawsuit
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaining of alleged violations
of his constitutional rights. The Court referred the case to
the United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1) and (3) and the Amended Order for the
Adoption of Local Rules for the Assignment of Duties to
United States Magistrate Judges.
December 12, 2018, the Magistrate Judge ordered Plaintiff to
pay an initial filing fee of $29.00, in accordance with 28
U.S.C. § 1915(b). Docket No. 4. His pleadings show he
had notice of this order no later than January 3, 2019.
See Docket No. 7 at 3.
of complying with the order, Plaintiff filed multiple
pleadings objecting to the referral of the case to the
Magistrate Judge. See generally Docket Nos. 6, 7. In
these pleadings, he argued: magistrate judges are not
authorized by law; standing orders of referral are
unconstitutional; the Prison Litigation Reform Act is
unconstitutional and violates numerous Supreme Court
precedents including Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. 419
(1793) and Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, 14 U.S.
304 (1816) and Plaintiff is not a corporation and therefore
has no assets.Plaintiff also contended he did not file a
lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 because he filed a
“declaration of complaint of constitutional violations,
” and he is not representing himself because he is not
an attorney, but instead is coming in propria
persona (i.e., representing himself) for the lawful
exercise of his rights.
than seven months after ordering Plaintiff to pay the initial
filing fee, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report recommending
the lawsuit be dismissed without prejudice for failure to
prosecute or to obey an order of the Court. Docket No. 10.
filed objections, reiterating his previous themes.
See Docket No. 14. In these objections, he asserts:
he has no knowledge of the English language and no knowledge
of the law; he is not proceeding pro se because he
is proceeding as a natural person seeking to vindicate his
inalienable rights; the referral of the case to the
Magistrate Judge overrules the Constitution and the Supreme
Court; the Magistrate Judge is impersonating a United States
District Judge and is not a judge under the supreme law of
the land; the Magistrate Judge’s Report is counterfeit
judicial process; the Prison Litigation Reform Act is
unconstitutional; the order for an initial partial filing fee
amounted to coercion and duress; the TDCJ inmate trust
account lists his name in all capital letters which is a
fictional identity and not the same as him; the Magistrate
Judge is biased; and he is not a corporation and has no
Court conducts a careful de novo review of those
portions of the Magistrate Judge’s proposed findings
and recommendations to which the Plaintiff objected.
See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) (District Judge shall
“make a de novo determination of those
portions of the report or specified proposed findings or
recommendations to which objection is made.”). Upon
review, it is clear none of these objections have any merit
ignorance of the law does not excuse him from complying with
the statutory requirement of paying a filing fee. Proceeding
pro se simply means Plaintiff is representing
himself without an attorney. Referrals to United States
Magistrate Judges are authorized by 28 U.S.C. § 636 and
are not unconstitutional. See, e.g., Bowman v.
Bordenkircher, 522 F.2d 209 (4th Cir. 1975) (rejecting
claim of unconstitutionality in the referral of a prisoner
petition to the magistrate judge); Corbett v. United
States, No. 2:11-cv-00325, 2014 WL 1783599 (S.D. W.Va.,
May 5, 2014) (same). Plaintiff’s claims that the
Magistrate Judge is “impersonating a district
judge” and “is not a judge under the supreme law
of the land” have no basis.
28 U.S. Code § 1915 requires prisoners bringing civil
actions to pay filing fees, including an initial filing fee.
The constitutionality of the Prison Litigation Reform Act,
including the fee provision, has been repeatedly upheld.
Miller v. Harris County, Texas, 396 Fed.Appx. 77, 79
(5th Cir. 2010); Norton v. Dimazana, 122 F.3d 286,
290–91 (5th Cir. 1997). The typing of Plaintiff’s
name in all capital letters has no legal significance and
does not change the identification of him in legal documents.
See, e.g., Ford v. Pryor, 552 F.3d 1174,
1179 (10th Cir. 2008); Greathouse v. United States,
No. 9:09-cv-36, 2009 WL 3431391 (E.D. Tex. Oct. 20, 2009).
Plaintiff offered nothing to suggest bias on the part of the
Magistrate Judge. The inmate trust account data sheet, which
Plaintiff provided, showed he had ample resources to pay the
initial partial filing fee, and Plaintiff has not shown how
the fact he is not a corporation is relevant.
presents no substantive, non-frivolous arguments
demonstrating error on the part of the Magistrate Judge. He
does not address the Magistrate Judge’s conclusion that
he failed to prosecute and failed to obey an order of the
Court except the meritless assertions. Accordingly, the Court
has determined the Report of the Magistrate Judge is correct
and the Plaintiffs objections are without merit. It is
Plaintiffs objections are OVERRULED and the
Report of the Magistrate Judge (Docket No. 10) is
ADOPTED as the opinion of the District
Court. It is further
the above-styled civil action is DISMISSED WITHOUT
PREJUDICE for failure to prosecute or to obey an
order of the Court.