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Edwards v. Villmer

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

August 2, 2016

LAWRENCE M. EDWARDS, Plaintiff,
v.
TOM VILLMER, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          RONNIE L. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, a prisoner, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Having reviewed plaintiffs financial information, the Court assesses a partial initial filing fee of $20, which is twenty percent of his average monthly deposit. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). Additionally, plaintiff must file an amended complaint.

         Standard of Review

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court is required to dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. To state a claim for relief under § 1983, a complaint must plead more than "legal conclusions" and "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action [that are] supported by mere conclusory statements." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). A plaintiff must demonstrate a plausible claim for relief, which is more than a "mere possibility of misconduct." Id. at 679. "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. at 678. Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is] a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense. Id. at 679.

         The Complaint

         The complaint is fifty pages of rambling, unintelligible allegations. Plaintiffs handwriting is often illegible, and so the complaint is very difficult to understand. The gist of the complaint appears to be that defendants either denied his grievances or ordered him to administrative segregation. He apparently used other inmates' telephone PIN numbers to make calls, for which he was issued conduct violations.

         Discussion

         The complaint does not comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 8(a) requires that the complaint contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that [plaintiff] is entitled to relief. . ." And Rule 10(b) requires a plaintiff to "state [his] claims ... in numbered paragraphs, each limited as far as practicable to a single set of circumstances." The complaint does not contain a short and plain statement of plaintiff s claims. Instead, it rambles incoherently, and the allegations are often petty and inconsequential. Additionally, although plaintiff sometimes uses numbered paragraphs, the paragraphs are not limited to a single set of circumstances.

         Plaintiff must file an amended complaint. The complaint must comply with Rules 8 and 10. Each paragraph must be limited to a single set of circumstances. Irrelevant information must be omitted. It must either be handwritten in a legible manner, or it must be typed. The Court recommends that plaintiff use a typewriter.

         Plaintiff is warned that the filing of an amended complaint replaces the original complaint, and so he must include each and every one of his claims in the amended complaint. E.g., In re Wireless Telephone Federal Cost Recovery Fees Litigation, 396 F.3d 922, 928 (8th Cir. 2005). Any claims from the original complaint that are not included in the amended complaint will be considered abandoned. Id. Plaintiff must allege how each and every defendant is directly responsible for the alleged harm. In order to sue defendants in their individual capacities, plaintiff must specifically say so in the complaint. If plaintiff fails to sue defendants in their individual capacities, this action may be subject to dismissal.

         Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF No. 2] is GRANTED.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiff must pay an initial filing fee of $20 within twenty-eight (28) 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.[1]

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk is directed to send plaintiff a prisoner civil rights complaint form.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff must file an amended complaint that complies with the terms of this order no later than ...


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