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Gales v. Graham

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

September 23, 2014

GREGORY LYNN GALES, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL GRAHAM, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, Jr., District Judge.

This matter is before the Court upon the motion of Gregory Gales (registration no. 73659), an inmate at Norton Correctional Facility ("NCF") in Norton, Kansas, for leave to commence this action without payment of the required filing fee. For the reasons stated below, the Court finds that plaintiff does not have sufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee and will assess an initial partial filing fee of $24. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Furthermore, based upon a review of the complaint, the Court finds that the complaint should be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1), a prisoner bringing a civil action in forma pauperis is required to pay the full amount of the filing fee. If the prisoner has insufficient funds in his or her prison account to pay the entire fee, the Court must assess and, when funds exist, collect an initial partial filing fee of 20 percent of the greater of (1) the average monthly deposits in the prisoner's account, or (2) the average monthly balance in the prisoner's account for the prior six-month period. After payment of the initial partial filing fee, the prisoner is required to make monthly payments of 20 percent of the preceding month's income credited to the prisoner's account. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). The agency having custody of the prisoner will forward these monthly payments to the Clerk of Court each time the amount in the prisoner's account exceeds $10, until the filing fee is fully paid. Id.

Plaintiff has submitted an affidavit and a certified copy of his prison account statement for the six-month period immediately preceding the submission of his complaint. A review of plaintiff's account indicates an average monthly deposit of $118, and an average monthly balance of $19. Plaintiff has insufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee. Accordingly, the Court will assess an initial partial filing fee of $24, which is 20 percent of plaintiff's average monthly deposit.

28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court must dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis if the action is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. An action is frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis in either law or fact." Neitzke v. Williams , 490 U.S. 319, 328 (1989); Denton v. Hernandez , 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992). An action is malicious if it is undertaken for the purpose of harassing the named defendants and not for the purpose of vindicating a cognizable right. Spencer v. Rhodes , 656 F.Supp. 458, 461-63 (E.D. N.C. 1987), aff'd 826 F.2d 1059 (4th Cir. 1987). A complaint fails to state a claim if it does not plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).

The Complaint

Plaintiff brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Dr. Michael Graham, a forensic pathologist at St. Louis University Hospital. Plaintiff's cause of action is unclear. Plaintiff alleges that Graham was subpoenaed to appear at his September 2001 criminal trial in Kansas. Plaintiff further alleges that Graham did not appear for the trial. Plaintiff was convicted of the charged crime. Plaintiff says he has been hindered from bringing a claim before the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit because Graham is located in Missouri, not Kansas. Plaintiff requests that this Court "give the Tenth Circuit subject matter jurisdiction of procedural due process out of [the Eastern District of Missouri] via a order that they can grant relief via a U.S.C. 2254 second and successive application."

Discussion

The Court cannot grant the requested relief. The jurisdiction of the various federal courts is controlled by statute.

Moreover, the allegations in the complaint do not state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Nor can the Court envision any amendment to the complaint that might give rise to a cognizable cause of action. As a result, the Court will dismiss this action without further proceedings.

Accordingly,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF No. 2] is GRANTED.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiff shall pay an initial filing fee of $24 within thirty (30) days of the date of this Order. Plaintiff is instructed to make his remittance payable to "Clerk, United States District Court, " and to include upon it: (1) his name; (2) his prison registration number; (3) the case number; and (4) that the remittance is for an original proceeding.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

An Order of Dismissal will accompany this Memorandum and Order.


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