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King v. Lombardi

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

May 25, 2017

TONY RAY KING, Plaintiff,
v.
GEORGE LOMBARDI, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          CHARLES A. SHAW 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 plaintiff's financial information, the Court assesses a partial initial filing fee of $42.80, which is twenty percent of his average monthly deposit. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). Additionally, several of the defendants will be 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, 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.

         When reviewing a complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court accepts the well-pled facts as true. Furthermore, the Court liberally construes the allegations.

         Background

         On January 10, 2012, plaintiff strangled his son to death. Missouri v. King, 453 S.W.3d 363, 367 (Mo.Ct.App. 2015). The following day, he set fire to his mobile home to conceal the murder. Id. On May 2, 2013, a jury convicted him of first-degree murder, second-degree arson, and child abuse. Missouri v. King, No. 12BU-CR01087 (5th Judicial Cir.). On July 12, 2013, the court sentenced him to life without the possibility of parole for the murder and two fifteen-year prison sentences for the abuse and arson counts, all to be served consecutively. Id. The Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed. King, 453 S.W.3d at 367.

         On June 11, 2013, while he was awaiting trial on the charges of killing his son, he killed his cellmate. Cmpl.'s at 14. On September 26, 2013, he pled guilty to second-degree murder. Missouri v. King, No. 13BU-CR01387-01 (5th Judicial Cir.). On October 31, 2013, the court sentenced him to twenty years' imprisonment, to be served consecutive to the previous sentence.

         After he was delivered to the Missouri Department of Corrections (“MoDOC”), he was eventually transferred to the Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Correctional Center (“ERDCC”). When he first arrived, he was placed in the general population. During his time in the general population, he did not receive any conduct violations.

         After he was convicted of killing his son, officials at ERDCC placed him in administrative segregation. He was given several confusing answers with regard to his placement, until he was told that the placement was due to the fact that he killed his cellmate in the county jail.

         Plaintiff protested. He told defendants that they could not place him in administrative segregation for a murder he committed before his entry into a MoDOC facility.

         Defendants Dave Dormire, the Director of Adult Institutions, and Terry Russell, the former Warden of ERDCC, were responsible for his long-term placement in administrative segregation, which ultimately lasted 923 days. The other defendants involved in the placement either carried out Dormire's and Russell's orders or denied his grievances on the subject.

         While confined in administrative segregation, plaintiff was not allowed to attend religious services or have contact visits, and he was only allowed one fifteen-minute phone call per month.

         Defendant Dale Phillips refused to provide plaintiff with adequate hygiene items while he was in administrative segregation, which resulted in his skin cracking and bleeding. Plaintiff asked defendant Terry Taylor, who is a nurse, for something to treat his skin. Taylor refused. After he complained, defendant Todd Renshaw ordered Taylor to provide him with skin ointment. ...


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