United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
E. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a prisoner, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this
civil action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Having
reviewed plaintiff's financial information, the Court
assesses a partial initial filing fee of $26.00, which is
twenty percent of his average monthly deposit. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(b).
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.
brings this action against several officials at the Northeast
Correctional Center (NECC). After plaintiff was released from
administrative segregation on July 12, 2015, he inadvertently
left his legal papers under his mattress. The papers included
a completed Rule 91 Missouri habeas application and
“irreplaceable” exhibits. The inmate who moved
into the cell gave the papers to another inmate, who then
gave them to a third inmate for delivery to plaintiff. Upon
determining that plaintiff's papers were in the hands of
another inmate, defendant Dan Wiley confiscated them.
According to prison policy, inmates are not allowed to pass
property to one another. Plaintiff alleges that Wiley either
put them in the trash or he held onto them for a month before
sending them to classification staff, who disposed of them.
Plaintiff states that the habeas form and exhibits
demonstrated his actual innocence. He claims that he has not
been able to prove his case as a result of the destruction of
claims that Wiley's actions violated his right to access
to the courts. He alleges that the other defendants named in
this action denied his grievances challenging Wiley's
actions and the prison policy, and by doing so, they also
violated his right to access to the courts.
Court finds that plaintiff's denial of access to the
courts claim against Wiley should not be dismissed at this
time. Therefore, the Court will order that he be served with
under § 1983 requires a causal link to, and direct
responsibility for, the alleged deprivation of rights.”
Madewell v. Roberts, 909 F.2d 1203, 1208 (8th Cir.
1990); see Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
676 (2009) (“Because vicarious liability is
inapplicable to Bivens and § 1983 suits, a
plaintiff must plead that each Government-official defendant,
through the official's own individual actions, has
violated the Constitution.”); Camberos v.
Branstad, 73 F.3d 174, 176 (8th Cir. 1995) (“a
general responsibility for supervising the operations of a
prison is insufficient to establish the personal involvement
required to support liability.”); George v.
Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 609 (7th Cir. 2007) (“Only
persons who cause or participate in the [constitutional]
violations are responsible. Ruling against a prisoner on an
administrative complaint does not cause or contribute to the
violation.”). Plaintiff has not alleged that any of the
remaining defendants were directly involved in confiscating
or destroying his legal papers. Indeed, according to the
complaint plaintiff's property had been disposed of by
the time the grievances were denied by the defendants.
Therefore, his allegations against them do not state a claim
under § 1983.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed
in forma pauperis [ECF No. 2] is GRANTED.
FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiff must pay an initial filing
fee of $26.00 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.
FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk is directed to serve process