Available Cases – Volunteer Opportunities and Pro Bono Assistance

Pursuant to recently adopted Administrative Order 2014-14, the Court is revamping its process for obtaining pro bono counsel for pro se litigants. Please check back in the near future for further information. In the meantime, inquiries should be directed to FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Available Cases:

Carrie Masson v. My Personal Business Coach LLC (17-CV-61342-BB)

Plaintiff filed claims against My Personal Business Coach LLC and Sharyn Mitchell for claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Defendant Sharyn Mitchell has requested the assistance of a volunteer attorney in her defense. This case is still in the early stages of discovery. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Laster v. Officer A. Lee et al (14-CV-24067-DPG)

Docket Sheet

Mr. Laster is a pro se inmate who brings this action against a Florida state corrections officer under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violation of his constitutional rights while in custody. Mr. Laster alleges that the Defendant officer perpetrated a sexual assault on him in June 2014. The Defendant’s motion for summary judgment has been denied, and the case is set for trial on December 11, 2017. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Valdes v. Commissioner of Social Security (17-CV-23454-CMA)

Pro se Plaintiff, Bernardo Valdes, filed this action seeking review of an unfavorable decision on his disability insurance benefits claim by the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. The Complaint was filed September 19, 2017, and Plaintiff has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Defendant has not yet filed a response to the Complaint. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Lucas v. Hollywood Police Dept. et al. (17-CV-61277-BB)

Docket Sheet

Mr. Lucas is a pro se prisoner who has filed claims alleging violation of his constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. 1983. Specifically, Mr. Lucas alleges that during the execution of an arrest warrant for probation violation, defendant officers used excessive force when they punched and kicked Mr. Lucas after he had been handcuffed. Mr. Lucas alleges that as a result he has submitted numerous sick call requests for migraines and shoulder and back pain, and has been diagnosed with osteo arthritis. This case is in the initial pleading stage and has not yet been set for trial. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Amador v. Davie Police Department, et al (17-CV-61740-BB)

Pro se Plaintiff brings civil rights claims under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The complaint was recently filed and service has yet to be effectuated. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Cragg v. The Board of Trustees of Miami-Dade College (17-CV-20300-CMA)

Pro se Plaintiff, Jonelle Cragg, filed this action to seek relief under the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”) and the Florida Civil Rights Act (the “FCRA”). Plaintiff, a former student of Miami-Dade College, alleges the College discriminated against her based on its perception she had a mental or psychological impairment, and wrongfully expelled her.

Defendant has filed an Answer and Affirmative Defenses. The case is pending. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Myeress v. Gonzalez et al (17-CV-61260-WPD)

Docket Sheet

Pro se Defendant is being sued for willful copyright infringement in violation of 17 U.S.C. 101, et seq. The Court denied Defendant’s motions to dismiss and to strike.  Defendant’s answer is due on or before September 13, 2017.  If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Ronald Hayes a/k/a Jazmyn Bowen v. Sgt. Brooks, et. al. (17-CV-80230-BB)

Prisoner filed claims for violation of his constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. 1983. Specifically, he filed claims arising under the Eighth First, and Fourteenth Amendments. This case is in the initial pleading stage and has not yet been set for trial. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Barbara Henderson v. Social Security Administration (17-CV-61320-BB)

Plaintiff has appealed the Social Security Administration’s decision denying her application for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Jia v. University Of Miami et al (17-CV-20018-DPG) [Updated on 07/20/2017]

Docket Sheet

A former University of Miami student brings various claims against the University of Miami, a former professor, a former student, and a university administrator over allegations of sexual misconduct. The former University of Miami professor and former student have requested counsel to represent them in this case. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Gottlieb v. Securities and Exchange Commission (17-CV-21669-CMA)

Pro se Plaintiff, Allen Bruce Gottlieb, filed this action to seek relief based on FRCP 60(d)(1), that is to obtain relief from a judgment by order or independent action. The judgment from which Plaintiff seeks relief is a EDNY order granting summary judgment in favor of the SEC, which Plaintiff alleges was obtained by fraud. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Lewis v. Cactus Car Wash (17-CV-61062-BB)

Mr. Lewis is a pro se prisoner who alleges he was wrongfully terminated from employment and was subject to a hostile work environment while employed at Cactus Car Wash. He has filed claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act for wrongful termination and hostile work environment. This case is in the initial pleading stage and has not yet been set for trial. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Azze v. Dade Medical College, Inc. (15-CV-24175-DPG)

Three pro se Defendants have requested counsel to represent them in the jury trial on the Plaintiffs’ claims for violations of the FLSA and for negligence. The trial is set to commence on or about July 10, 2017, with a calendar call on July 5, 2017. The Plaintiffs’ claims arise from Defendants’ alleged failure to pay the Plaintiffs’ wages in the weeks leading up to mass layoffs (on October 30, 2015) upon the failure of the entity known as Dade Medical College. On March 6, 2017, the Court granted in part and denied in part the Plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment, finding that one of the three Defendants can be considered the Plaintiffs’ “employer” for purposes of the FLSA. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Lafavors v. Julie Jones (16-CV-14280-RLR)

The Plaintiff, who resides at the Coleman Medium Federal Correctional Institution in Coleman, Florida, has filed a Section 1983 civil rights action against Wexford Health sources, security personnel, and medical personnel for incidents that occurred at the Florida Department of Corrections’ Martin Correctional Institution. The complaint passed screening on claims of deliberate indifference to a serious medical need (nasal polyps) for which treatment was delayed and denied for non-medical reasons, for excessive force and failure to intervene due to the use of purposefully tight restraints and excessively long detention in the back of a hot van, and for retaliation for seeking medical treatment. He seeks compensatory and punitive damages, court costs and attorney’s fees. Two of the six remaining Defendants have been served. Amended pleadings are due by May 24, 2017, discovery closes May 10, 2017, and motions are due by June 14, 2017. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov

Hines v. Wixford Health Source Inc. et al (15-CV-22472-MGC)

Plaintiff alleges that he injured his arm and shoulder while incarcerated, and had surgery that included placing hardware into his arm. Plaintiff further alleges that, after the surgery, he had nerve pain, muscle atrophy, and loss of range of motion. According to Plaintiff, the doctor who performed the surgery told Plaintiff that he would require additional surgery to remove the hardware, and to correct the physical impairment. Plaintiff alleges, however, that while he was at Taylor Correctional Institution, Defendants Balin and Smith ignored recommendations from three (3) other medical personnel that Plaintiff be seen by an orthopedist and receive continued physical therapy. And Plaintiff alleges that he suffered worsening of his condition and injury as a result. The Court has thus concluded that the case should proceed against Defendants Balin and Smith in their individual capacities, on Eighth Amendment theories of deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Albra v. Colvin (17-CV-60569-CMA)

Pro Se Plaintiff, Adem Albra seeks a volunteer lawyer to represent him in a case he brings to review a social security disability or supplemental security income decision by the Commissioner of Social Security. Mr. Albra alleges the decision was not supported by substantial evidence in the record and/or was based on legal error. The complaint was filed in late March and the case is in its early stages. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Pestana v. Miami-Dade County (16-CV-25350-JAL)

Plaintiff, Raul Pestana, is seeking a volunteer lawyer to represent him in a civil rights case brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1983. The Complaint alleges that while incarcerated in a Miami-Dade County jail, Plaintiff, a disabled veteran with full disability benefits, informed jail staff of his extensive medical and psychiatric diagnoses. Jail staff evaluated Plaintiff and prescribed him medication, but the medication was ineffective. Plaintiff informed jail staff that the prescribed medication was ineffective and filed grievances, but his grievances went unanswered. The Complaint alleges that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff’s medical needs. Plaintiff is no longer incarcerated. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Barreiro v. The Medical Department of Dade Correctional Institution et al (16-CV-22404-RNS) – Updated 03/14/2017

Plaintiff’s claims compensatory damages against Dr. Delgado in his individual capacity on Eighth Amendment theories of deliberate indifference to serious medical needs and cruel and unusual punishment. Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Delgado’s delayed several hours in calling outside trauma assistance after Plaintiff suffered stab wounds and was sprayed with a chemical agent in his mouth. Plaintiff alleges that the chemical agent caused Plaintiff’s neck to become extremely swollen, that Plaintiff was chocking and could not breathe, and that he allegedly almost died. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Guasch v. Carnival Corporation (15-cv-23454-MGC)

Docket Sheet

Plaintiff brought suit against Defendant for disability discrimination and retaliation. Plaintiff believes he was discharged from the Defendant’s employment due to his HIV-positive medical condition. He seeks counsel to assist in an appeal of the district court’s granting of summary judgment in favor of Defendant. The case is presently pending after the filing of an amended complaint. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Freer v. Stock Island Marina Village (17-CV-20557-CMA)

Plaintiff filed a maritime breach of contract and negligence claim against the Stock Island Marina Village (“Defendant”) for commandeering Plaintiff’s vessel, towing it out to sea, and abandoning it without Plaintiff’s permission. Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

The case is presently pending after the filing of an amended complaint. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Tisdale v. Frezin et al (16-cv-25265-JAL)

Docket Sheet

This is a Section 1983 complaint brought by a pro se prisoner. He alleges that he was attacked and beaten by several prison guards. He seeks damages for his purported injuries. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Trout v. Social Security Disability (16-CV-62560-FAM)

Docket Sheet

The plaintiff filed this action against the Commissioner of Social Security seeking review of the Commissioner’s decision to deny the plaintiff’s social security benefits. The complaint was filed on October 28, 2016, and the plaintiff has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Lamarares et al v. City of Miami-Dade County et al (16-CV-25289-MGC)

Docket Sheet

Plaintiffs brings this action against the City of Miami-Dade County and its arresting officers on the basis that Defendants violated Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights. If interested in taking this case, please contact Magistrate Judge Torres’s chambers at torres@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Phillips v. May (16-CV-14032-ROSENBERG)

The Plaintiff, who resides at the Franklin Correctional Institution in Carrabelle, Florida, has filed a Section 1983 civil rights complaint with regards to incidents that allegedly occurred at the Okechobee County Detention Center. He claims that he is disabled and confined to a wheelchair due to a spinal cord injury. He claims that the OCDC head nurse was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, exposed him to unconstitutional conditions of confinement, and retaliated against him by withholding pain medications, depriving him of adult diapers, and housing him with a mentally ill inmate. He further claims that an OCDC administrator failed to stop these actions. The case has passed initial screening and service on the two Defendants is underway. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Borenstein v. Williams Island Property Owners Association, Inc. (16-CV-25182-KMW)

Pro se Plaintiff has filed a Complaint against Defendant, his former employer, alleging that supervisors discriminated against him on the basis of his religion and national origin in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This case is not yet set for trial. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Curry v. Corizon Health, Inc. et al (17-CV-14017-RLR)

Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at Okaloosa C.I. His claims arose while he was in the custody of the Palm Beach Jail.

The plaintiff alleges that he was diagnosed with Hepatitis-C upon his entry to the PBJ in March 2010. He claims that his condition was not treated properly treated during the five years he was held awaiting trial. He claims that he was told the treatment was too expensive. As a result he first developed high blood pressure and was placed on the incorrect medication, resulting in declining liver function. He further claims that as a result of the lack of treatment he had developed severe liver damage including cirrhosis and a tumor.

He seeks damages against Corizon Health, Inc., Dr. George Jorge, Dr. Scott Kennedy and Nurse Misty Gaddis.  If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Hightower v. Social Security Administration Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (17-CV-60060-WPD)

Plaintiff filed this action following the denial of her request for review of the Administrative Law Judge’s decision to dismiss her request for a hearing on the suspension of her disability benefits. The complaint was filed on January 10, 2017 and Plaintiff has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Moody v. City of Delray Beach et al (16-CV-81192-RLR)

Plaintiff seeks to bring a case under 1983. Both Plaintiff’s Complaint and Amended Complaint were dismissed without prejudice for failure to comply with the pleading requirements contained in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The case has been administratively closed. The Court has required that Plaintiff, should she elect to proceed, must file a Motion to Re-Open Case . A copy of Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint must be attached to Plaintiff’s Motion to Reopen Case. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Salmon v. Jones (16-CV-24102-MGC)

Plaintiff, a Jamaican resident, brings a Section 1983 against officers from the Miami-Dade Police Department stemming from an arrest at the Miami International Airport. Plaintiff contests his previous deportation and later airport arrest as unlawful and false. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Taylor v. Person et al (16-CV-60682-BB)

Incarcerated Plaintiff brings Section 1983 cause of action against detention officers stemming from incident that occurred while incarcerated. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Johnson-Washington v. Moir et al. (16-CV-81751-BB)

Pro se plaintiff brings Employment Discrimination cause of action against multiple defendants, bringing disability, age, sex, and race-based claims.  Case filed on October 14, 2016.  If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Brooks v. Foxx (16-CV-24420-MGC)

A former engineer with the Federal Aviation Agency sues the Department of Transportation for employment discrimination related to his age and disabilities. The EEOC dismissed Plaintiff’s agency action for being untimely filed. Plaintiff contests this decision, and seeks damages for the alleged unlawful termination of his employment.  Trial date has not been set in this case.  If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Grantley v. Jones et al. (15-22724-CV-JAL) Updated 9/26/2016

Docket Sheet

Updated on 9/26/16

Plaintiff, a pro se prisoner at the Florida State Prison in Raiford, Florida, filed a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983, against corrections officers and nurses at the Miami-Dade Pretrial Detention Center. He alleges that he was beaten twice by several corrections officers, that other officers failed to intervene, and that he was denied medical attention for his injuries. The Defendants’ motion to dismiss has been denied and they have filed answers. The Plaintiff claims that he needs the assistance of an attorney because due to conditions including severe vision loss and the prohibition from corresponding with inmate witnesses. If interested, please contact: FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Collins v. City of Miami et al. (16-CV-22109-CMA)

Plaintiff filed a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 against a City of Miami police officer (“Defendant”) for use of excessive force and unlawful arrest.  Plaintiff alleges he was at a Publix supermarket purchasing pasta when Defendant verbally attacked and acted malicious towards Plaintiff.  After purchasing the pasta, Plaintiff claims he sat in Publix’s foyer to eat.  Then, Defendant told Plaintiff, in a bullying manner, he could not sit in the foyer.  Thereafter, Plaintiff exited Publix but returned afterwards to buy a beverage. Upon his return to Publix, Plaintiff alleges Defendant arrested him for trespass and took him to a back room where Defendant threw Plaintiff to the floor, pointed a weapon to his head, and turned off the lights.

The case is presently pending after filing of the answer and affirmative defenses by defendant.  If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Cendan v. Trujillo et al (16-CV-21775-KMW)

The plaintiff is suing six police officers for excessive use of force during  his arrest, the remaining 28 defendants have been dismissed in the screening report and recommendation and the order adopting same. The plaintiff alleges that after leading the police on a vehicle chase, he was severely beaten after he was handcuffed and in the control of the police. He alleges that he was surrounded by police cars. Multiple officers had him held at gunpoint. He contends that he complied with their orders but was nevertheless pulled from his vehicle and beaten to unconsciousness He claims he was hospitalized as a result of the beating.

The case is in the preliminary stages and service of process is just being ordered.

If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Ledea v. Metro-Dade County Police Department et al (13-CV-23117-UU)

The plaintiff is suing police officers alleging excessive use of force during his arrest on two separate occasions. He claims that the two instances are somehow linked because he has been allegedly had difficulties with Miami police and Miami-Dade police. In December 2009 he was arrested during a prostitution sting and alleges that the officers beat him. In November 2010 he was arrested for possession of cocaine, aggravated fleeing and resisting arrest. The defendants in the November 2010 incident filed a motion to dismiss which it has been recommended be denied.  The defendants in the 2009 incident have not been served although service is now outstanding since they have been properly identified as City of Miami officers.  If interested, please contact: FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Dewitt v. Pena (15-CV-21094-MGC)

The Plaintiff, who is incarcerated at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Lake City, Florida, filed a Section 1983 complaint alleging that a Miami-Dade police officer used excessive force during his arrest by slamming his face on the back of a patrol car while he was handcuffed. He claims that he is disabled under the Americans with Disabilities and suffered severe abrasions to his face, eyes, and head, swelling on the right side of his brain, severe head trauma, neck pain, blurred vision and severe chronic headaches. He seeks damages for mental and physical pain, past medical costs, and future medical costs. The complaint passed initial screening and the Defendant has filed an answer. Discovery closes on February 22, 2106, and dispositive motions are due on March 28, 2016.  If interested, please contact: FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Perez v. Trust Security Services, Inc. et (15-CV-21203-JLK)

Docket Sheet

The Court is seeking an attorney to assist Defendant, proceeding pro se, in defending against claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act to recover unpaid overtime compensation.  If interested, please contact: FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Grimaldo v. Carnival Corporation et al (14-CV-22882-CMA)

Docket Sheet

Plaintiff asserts various negligence claims against Carnival Corporation and individual medical Defendants.  Plaintiff was a passenger on a Carnival vessel in 2013.  As alleged in the complaint, Plaintiff was presented to the medical facility onboard the vessel with complaints of dizziness, headaches, shortness of breath, etc., and was misdiagnosed by the medical defendants and told it was safe to fly on an airplane.  As a result, Plaintiff suffered a stroke and now suffers from permanent brain injury.  The complaint was drafted and filed by Plaintiff’s former counsel.  Defendant Carnival has answered the complaint.  The individual medical Defendants, all foreign citizens, have waived service but contest personal jurisdiction.  Plaintiff needs an attorney to represent her, conduct jurisdictional discovery, and pursue her claims.  The case is administratively closed so Plaintiff can obtain counsel.  The case will be reopened upon Plaintiff’s counsel filing a notice of appearance and motion to reopen.  If interested, please contact: FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.