United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
ERIC B. SAUB, Plaintiff,
THOMAS POTTER, et al., Defendants.
A. Gibney Jr. United States District Judge.
Saub, a Virginia pretrial detainee proceeding pro se
and in forma pauperis, filed this 42 U.S.C. §
1983 action. The action proceeds on Saub's
Complaint. (ECF No. 1.) The matter is before the Court for
evaluation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and
PROCEDURAL HISTORY AND OUTSTANDING MOTIONS
currently detained pending his trial in the Circuit Court for
the Isle of Wight County, Virginia for first-degree murder,
use of a firearm to commit murder, and being a felon in
possession of a firearm. By Memorandum Opinion and Order entered
on May 1, 2017, this Court dismissed a similar action against
similar defendants who are involved in his criminal
investigation and proceedings. Saub v. Phillips, No.
3:16CV414, 2017 WL 1658831, at *l-9 (E.D. Va. May 1, 2017).
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
affirmed. Saub v. Phillips, 699 Fed.Appx. 179 (4th
Cir. 2017). Since that time, Saub has filed more than one
action again naming those persons involved with his criminal
prosecution. Because the Court has already explained at great
length why Saub's action must be dismissed, the Court
will not expend significant time repeating itself. See
Cochran v. Morris, 73 F.3d 1310, 1315 (4th Cir. 1996)
(emphasizing that "abbreviated treatment" is
consistent with Congress's vision for the disposition of
frivolous or "insubstantial claims" (citing
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989))).
Memorandum Order entered on February 6, 2018, the Court
directed Saub to file a particularized complaint that
provided defendants with fair notice of the facts and legal
basis upon which his or her liability rested and that
comported with joinder requirements. (ECF No. 10.) Since that
date, the Court has provided Saub with two thirty-day
extensions of time in which to file his particularized
complaint. In the Memorandum Order entered on March 28, 2018,
the Court warned Saub that no further extensions would be
granted. (ECF No. 15.) Despite this admonition, on April 30,
2018, the Court received yet another request for a thirty-day
extension of time until after his trial. (ECF No. 16.)
Because the Court explained to Saub that it would provide no
further extensions, and because the majority of his claims
have already been addressed by this Court, the Motion for
Extension of Time (ECF No. 16) will be DENIED.
also submitted a Motion to Seal (ECF No. 9) certain police
reports that he submitted with his Complaint. As Saub
submitted these documents upon his own initiative, and
because he offers no persuasive reason to seal them, his
Motion to Seal (ECF No. 9) will be DENIED.
to the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA") this
Court must dismiss any action filed by a prisoner if the
Court determines the action (1) "is frivolous" or
(2) "fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); see 28
U.S.C. § 1915A. The first standard includes claims based
upon "an indisputably meritless legal theory, " or
claims where the "factual contentions are clearly
baseless." Clay v. Yates, 809 F.Supp. 417, 427
(E.D. Va. 1992) (quoting Neitzke v. Williams, 490
U.S. 319, 327 (1989)). The second standard is the familiar
standard for a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency
of a complaint; importantly, it does not resolve contests
surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the
applicability of defenses." Republican Party of N.C
v. Martin, 980 F.2d 943, 952 (4th Cir. 1992) (citing 5 A
Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal
Practice and Procedure § 1356 (1990)). In
considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
a plaintiffs well-pleaded allegations are taken as true and
the complaint is viewed in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff. Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 7 F.3d
1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993); see also Martin, 980
F.2d at 952. This principle applies only to factual
allegations, however, and "a court considering a motion
to dismiss can choose to begin by identifying pleadings that,
because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled
to the assumption of truth." Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure "require only 'a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief, ' in order to 'give
the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'" Bell Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (second alteration
in original) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41,
47 (1957)). Plaintiffs cannot satisfy this standard with
complaints containing only "labels and conclusions"
or a "formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action." Id. (citations omitted). Instead, a
plaintiff must allege facts sufficient "to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level, " id.
(citation omitted), stating a claim that is "plausible
on its face, " id. at 570, rather than merely
"conceivable." Id. "A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Bell Atl.
Corp., 550 U.S. at 556). In order for a claim or
complaint to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim,
the plaintiff must "allege facts sufficient to state all
the elements of [his or] her claim." Bass v. E.I.
DuPont de Nemours & Co., 324 F.3d 761, 765 (4th Cir.
2003) (citing Dickson v. Microsoft Corp., 309 F.3d
193, 213 (4th Cir. 2002); Iodice v. United States,
289 F.3d 270, 281 (4th Cir. 2002)). Lastly, while the Court
liberally construes pro se complaints, Gordon v.
Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978), it will not
act as the inmate's advocate and develop, sua
sponte, statutory and constitutional claims that the
inmate failed to clearly raise on the face of his complaint.
See Brock v. Carroll, 107 F.3d 241, 243 (4th Cir.
1997) (Luttig, J., concurring); Beaudett v. City of
Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).
SUMMARY OF PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS
explained above, Saub is currently detained pending his trial
in the Circuit Court for the Isle of Wight County, Virginia
("Circuit Court") for first-degree murder, use of a
firearm to commit murder, and being a felon in possession of
a firearm. According to Saub, his trial for the foregoing
charges was set to begin on April 30, 2018. In a lengthy and
rambling Complaint, Saub alleges that the named
Defendants committed various errors related to his
criminal investigation and proceedings. Saub raises 24
claims for relief, all of which are extremely repetitive.
Given the repetitive nature of Saub's claims, and for the
goal of orderly disposition, the Court groups them together
either by type of claim or by the Defendants named in the
demands, inter alia, all legal costs, compensatory and
punitive damages from each Defendant, injunctive relief,
declaratory relief, and payment for the value of all of his
seized property. (Id. at 25-29.) As explained below,
Saub's Complaint will be DISMISSED.