United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
E. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff
Jordan Armand Woods, an inmate at Southeast Correctional
Center (“SECC”), for leave to commence this
action without prepayment of the filing fee. Having reviewed
Plaintiff's financial information, the Court assesses a
partial initial filing fee of $6.88. In addition, the Court
will require Plaintiff to submit 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
his 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 $10.00, until the filing fee
is fully paid. Id.
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 $34.38, and an average monthly balance of $5.06. Plaintiff
has insufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee.
Accordingly, the Court will assess an initial partial filing
fee of $6.88, which is 20 percent of plaintiff's average
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)
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,
inter alia, draw upon judicial experience and common
sense. Id. at 679.
conducting initial review pursuant to § 1915(e)(2), the
Court must give the complaint the benefit of a liberal
construction. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520
(1972). However, this does not mean that pro se
complaints may be merely conclusory. Even pro se
complaints are required to allege facts which, if true, state
a claim for relief as a matter of law. Martin v.
Aubuchon, 623 F.2d 1282, 1286 (8th Cir. 1980); see
also Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914-15 (8th Cir.
2004) (federal courts are not required to “assume facts
that are not alleged, just because an additional factual
allegation would have formed a stronger complaint”). In
addition, affording a pro se complaint the benefit
of a liberal construction does not mean that procedural rules
in ordinary civil litigation must be interpreted so as to
excuse mistakes by those who proceed without counsel. See
McNeil v. U.S., 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993).
much of the complaint is illegible, it is clear that
plaintiff has named five defendants in this action. Also, it
appears plaintiff attempts to allege multiple constitutional
violations occurring on various dates in 2013 and 2014,
relating to transfers from various prisons within the
Missouri Department of Corrections. The Court has been able
to discern, for example, that plaintiff is referring to his
time in MECC, SECC and NECC. Plaintiff also refers to time
spent in “Pacific, Missouri. A civil plaintiff may not
bring multiple claims against multiple parties, nor can he
bring claims in the same lawsuit relating to transactions or
occurrences that arose in different places.
addition to the aforementioned, it appears that plaintiff
simply lists the defendants' names in the
“Statement of Claim” portion of the complaint
without specifying what each defendant personally did to
violate his constitutional rights. “Liability 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
plaintiff fails to specify the capacity in which he intends
to sue the defendants. Where a “complaint is silent
about the capacity in which [plaintiff] is suing defendant,
[a district court must] interpret the complaint as including
only official-capacity claims.” Egerdahl v. Hibbing
Community College, 72 F.3d 615, 619 (8th Cir. 1995);
Nix v. Norman, 879 F.2d 429, 431 (8th Cir. 1989).
Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court will allow him to
file an amended complaint. In so doing, plaintiff should
select the transaction or occurrence he wishes to pursue, in
accordance with Rules 18 and 20 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, and file an amended complaint, limiting his facts
and allegations to those claims that arise out of the same
transaction or occurrence, or simply put, claims that are
related to each other. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a)(2).
If plaintiff wants to bring additional claims against
additional defendants, and the claims are not related to each
other, he must file each such claim(s) on a separate
complaint form as a new civil case, and either pay the entire
filing fee or move for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. Alternatively, plaintiff may choose to select
one defendant and set forth as many claims as he has against
that single defendant. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 18(a).
is required to specify whether he intends to sue each
defendant in his or her individual or official capacity.
Plaintiff's failure to sue any defendant in his or her