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McVay v. Caruthersville Sheriff's Dept.

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

January 23, 2015

LAMAR A. MCVAY, Plaintiff,
v.
CARUTHERSVILLE SHERIFF'S DEPT., Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, Jr., District Judge.

This matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff Lamar A. McVay, an inmate at Pemiscot 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 assess an initial partial filing fee of $17.25. 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 sixmonth 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 $86.25, and an average monthly balance of $2.13. Plaintiff has insufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee. Accordingly, the Court will assess an initial partial filing fee of $17.25, 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, an inmate at Pemiscot County Jail, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of his civil rights. Named as the sole defendant in this action is the "Caruthersville Sheriff's Department."

In his "Statement of Claim, " plaintiff alleges broadly that defendant has a "lack of proper medical treatment, " and he complains that inmates are charged for medical care and for medications at the Pemiscot County Jail. He also claims in a conclusory manner that inmates are "not being fed 2000 calories each meal."

Plaintiff states that he has not been provided "adequate access" to the law library, and he states he believes this is so because he is being represented by a public defender. He also states it is "cruel and unusual punishment" that he is charged for medical treatment and toilet paper/razors.

Plaintiff seeks monetary damages from the Jail and Sheriff's Department for the alleged unlawful treatment he has suffered.

Discussion

Plaintiff's claim against the Caruthersville Sheriff's Department, and even the Pemiscot County Jail, are legally frivolous because these entities are not suable entities under § 1983. Ketchum v. City of West Memphis, Ark., 974 F.2d 81, 82 (8th Cir. 1992) (departments or ...


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