United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
JIHAD A. SPANN-EL, SR., Plaintiff,
FRANCIS G. SLAY, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff Jihad
A. Spann-El, Sr., for leave to commence this action without
prepayment of the required filing fee. (Docket No. 5). 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 $3.00.
See 28 U.S.C § 1915(b)(1); Henderson v.
Norris, 129 F.3d 481, 484 (8th Cir. 1997). Additionally,
the Court finds that the complaint fails to comply with Rules
8 and 10 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and will
therefore order plaintiff to file an amended complaint.
U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)
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.
same day plaintiff filed the complaint, he filed an
uncertified "Resident Funds Inquiry" account
statement from the St. Louis City Justice Center, detailing
his institution account history for part of the six-month
period preceding the filing of the complaint. He did not file
a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis at that time.
The Court therefore ordered plaintiff to either pay the full
filing fee or submit a motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. Plaintiff was reminded that a motion for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis must be accompanied by a certified
inmate account statement for the six-month period immediately
preceding the filing of the complaint. In response, plaintiff
filed the instant motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis, and also filed a memorandum explaining, inter
alia, difficulties he believed he was experiencing in
obtaining a certified inmate account statement. (Docket No.
4). Therefore, the Court will require plaintiff to pay an
initial partial filing fee of $3.00, an amount that is
reasonable based upon the information the Court has about
plaintiffs finances. See Henderson, 129 F.3d at 484
(when a prisoner is unable to provide the Court with a
certified copy of his prison account statement, the Court
should assess an amount "that is reasonable, based on
whatever information the court has about the prisoner's
finances."). If plaintiff is unable to pay the initial
partial filing fee, he must submit a certified copy of his
prison account statement in support of such claim.
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), 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.
complaint is long and rambling, and is full of conclusory
statements and theories about the motivations of the
defendants. The Court therefore determines that the complaint
fails to comply with Rules 8 or 10 of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. Because plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the
Court will provide plaintiff an opportunity to file an
amended complaint containing all of the allegations he wishes
to bring against each defendant. All of plaintiffs claims in
this action must be included in one, centralized complaint
form. Plaintiff must not include exhibits, correspondence, or
memoranda. Plaintiff must follow the Court's instructions
relating to the filing of his amended complaint, as set forth
below, or he will face dismissal of his action, without
is required to submit an amended complaint on a
court-provided form, and it must comply with Rules 8 and 10
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 8(a) requires
that a complaint contain a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and a
demand for the relief sought. Rule 10(b) requires that a
party must state his claims in separately numbered
paragraphs, each limited as far as practicable to a single
set of circumstances. In other words, the amended complaint
should not be overly wordy or repetitive, and should instead
be limited to the "who, what, when, and where" of
the facts of plaintiffs claim or claims.
must also name each defendant against whom he is pursuing
allegations, and clearly identify each defendant by name and
title, as far as he knows it. Plaintiff must also articulate,
for each named defendant, the specific facts about
that defendant's alleged wrongful conduct. Plaintiffs
failure to make specific and actionable allegations against
any defendant will result in that defendant's dismissal
from this case. Plaintiff must also specify the capacity in
which he is suing each defendant, whether it is in his or her
official or individual capacity, or both. See Monell v.
Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 690-91
shall have twenty-one (21) days from the date of this Order
to file an amended complaint. Plaintiff is warned that the
filing of the amended complaint completely replaces
the original, and claims that are not re-alleged are deemed
abandoned. E.g., In re Wireless Telephone Federal Cost
Recovery Fees Litigation, 396 F.3d 922, 928 (8th Cir.
2005). If plaintiff fails to file an amended complaint within
twenty-one (21) days of the date of this Order, the Court
will dismiss this action without prejudice. Plaintiff will
not be granted any additional extensions of time.
plaintiff files an amended complaint, this Court will review
it pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 for frivolousness,
maliciousness and/or failure to state a claim. A claim and/or
defendant must survive § 1915 review in order for
plaintiff to proceed thereon in this lawsuit.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion to proceed in