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Edwards v. Villmer

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

August 31, 2016

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

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          RONNIE L. WHITE UNITED ST ATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on review of plaintiffs amended complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). After review, the Court finds that the complaint should be partially dismissed.

         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

         Plaintiff brings this action against several officials at the Farmington Correctional Center (FCC) and the Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Correctional Center (ERDCC). Plaintiff brings causes of action for retaliation, denial of access to the courts, and denial of equal protection of the law.

         Plaintiff alleges that, while he was confined in the Farmington Correctional Center (FCC), defendants Wendy Dasher and Tom Baxley retaliated against him for filing grievances against him by issuing false conduct violations, assigning him to a housing unit for aggressive and intimidating inmates, taking away his privileges, and placing him in administrative segregation.

         Plaintiff says defendants Dasher and James Ford retaliated against him by firing him from his dorm worker job and assigning him to main production. Plaintiff had a medical lay-in for light work because he has partial paralysis. Plaintiff claims a nurse told Ford to return plaintiff to his dorm worker job because of his lay-in but that Ford refused to do so. He says Ford barred him from talking to the grievance officer by issuing a false conduct violation against him and taking his personal property, for which he had a receipt.

         Plaintiff says defendant Julie Smith held a classification hearing and kept him in administrative segregation for an unspecified period of time. His retaliation claims against her are entirely conclusory.

         On March 12, 2015, plaintiff got married. During the ceremony, defendant Astra Parker took a camera away from an inmate and "took unwanted pictures of Plaintiffs wedding ceremony." The photos were not released to him for some time, but plaintiff got them at some point and attached copies of them as exhibits to the complaint.

         Plaintiff alleges that Parker issued a false conduct violation against him for being argumentative with prison staff. He says defendant James Bezner assigned him to administrative segregation as a result. His retaliation claims related to these incidents are conclusory.

         Plaintiff was informed by defendant Bill Boyer that plaintiffs wife could not visit both him and his brother at the same time. He says this is contrary to prison policy.

         In August 2015, plaintiff and his attorney were attempting to have him transferred to another facility. Plaintiff alleges that defendants Leslie Semar and Robert Gould wanted him to sign an enemy waiver. These allegations are incoherent, however. Plaintiff told them he could not attend the Missouri Sexual Offender Program (MOSOP) at the Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Correctional Center, although he later attended MOSOP there. Plaintiff elected to stay at FCC to attend MOSOP.

         On September 17, 2015, plaintiff was reclassified as a non-aggressive offender. On October 1, 2015, defendants Gould and Michael White told plaintiff he would be transferred to ERDCC to attend MOSOP. However, on October 13, ...


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