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Snyder v. Bullock

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

November 26, 2014

WILLIAM MILES SNYDER, Plaintiff,
v.
DAN BULLOCK, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

RODNEY W. SIPPEL, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff (registration no.33107), an inmate at St. Francis County Jail, 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 not assess an initial partial filing fee at this time. 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 $0, and an average monthly balance of $0. Plaintiff has insufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee. Accordingly, the Court will not assess an initial partial filing fee at this time.

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 pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of his civil rights. Named as defendants are: Dan Bullock (Sheriff, St. Francis County); Dennis Smith (Jail Administrator); Hardy White (Corporal, Asst. Jail Administrator); and Matthew Richard Ecke (Correctional Officer).

Plaintiff complains about the conditions of confinement at the St. Francis County Jail, asserting that there is overcrowding in the cells, black mold on the walls and ceilings of the cells and that the inmates are served "unsanitary food." Plaintiff also alleges that inmates are given a small clothing allowance due to the overstrength population at the Jail, and that they have "no access to a law library." Plaintiff states that due to the overcrowding, inmates have "inadequate outside recreation, " and oftentimes inmates have "no physical outdoor life."

Plaintiff complains in a conclusory manner that the food portions are "under 2000 calories per day, " and he alleges that defendants don't always watch carefully while inmates take medications during medication handout.

Plaintiff states that inmates are also forced to mail letters to family and friends on postcards, rather than in closed envelopes, and he believes this is a violation of his First Amendment rights.

Plaintiff further states, in a conclusory manner, that the attorney/client rooms at the Jail are "insecure, " as inmates can hear through the flimsy walls of the room. He claims that when the attorney/client rooms are full at the Jail, inmates must use an open room where they can be overheard by others.

Last, plaintiff asserts that another inmate, Matthew Grissom, was subjected to excessive force by ...


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