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Roland v. Wallace

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

April 22, 2015

EDWYN ROLAND, Plaintiff,
v.
IAN WALLACE, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

JEAN C. HAMILTON, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on the motion of Edwyn Roland (registration no. 1109046) 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 filing fee, and therefore, the motion will be granted, and a $10.62 initial partial filing fee will be assessed. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Furthermore, based upon a review of the complaint, the Court finds that process should issue on the complaint with respect to defendants Ryan Degen and Michael Vaughn in their individual capacities. As to defendant Ian Wallace, this action will 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 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 $53.08 and an average monthly balance of $1.98. Plaintiff has insufficient funds to pay the filing fee, and the Court assess an initial partial filing fee of $10.62.

28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court may 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 against a defendant who is immune from such relief. An action is frivolous if "it lacks an arguable basis in either law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328 (1989). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted 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).

In reviewing a pro se complaint under § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court must give the complaint the benefit of a liberal construction. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). The Court must also weigh all factual allegations in favor of the plaintiff, unless the facts alleged are clearly baseless. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32 (1992).

The Complaint

Plaintiff, an inmate at the Southeast Correctional Center, seeks monetary relief in this action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Named as defendants are Ian Wallace (Warden), Ryan Degen (Corrections Officer), and Michael Vaughn (Correctional Supervising Officer). As more fully discussed below, plaintiff is alleging that defendants violated his First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment constitutional rights in 2013-2014. Plaintiff is suing defendants in their individual capacities.

A. Claims against Ryan Degen

Plaintiff alleges that on December 9, 2013, in retaliation for plaintiff filing an IRR against him, defendant Ryan Degen intentionally "rammed the chuck-hole into [plaintiff's] hands causing physical injury." Plaintiff states that his "left finger was split open, bleeding, red and swollen, and his other finger was red and swollen." The Court finds that plaintiff has sufficiently alleged a First Amendment violation against Ryan Degen. As such, plaintiff's claims are sufficient to proceed against this defendant.

B. Claims against Michael Vaughn

Plaintiff alleges that, shortly after Degen smashed his hands in the chuck-hole, defendant Michael Vaughn viewed plaintiff's injuries and told plaintiff that he had called medical staff to come evaluate plaintiff; however, plaintiff states that he never received medical attention that day. Plaintiff states that he waited for three days before medical staff treated him and issued him anti-bacterial ointment and bandages. Plaintiff claims that he told Vaughn about the excessive force incident, but Vaughn "did nothing to try to remedy the wrong." More specifically, Vaughn allegedly failed to report the abuse and to "make sure that plaintiff received any medical care." The Court ...


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