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Seals-Ali v. Perkins

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

June 22, 2017

SOLOMON SEALS-ALI, Plaintiff,
v.
FREDERICK PERKINS, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JEAN C. HAMILTON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff Solomon Seals-Ali (registration no.22387), an inmate at Potosi Correctional Center (“PCC”), for leave to commence this action without payment of the required filing fee. 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 $3.75. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Furthermore, based upon a review of the complaint, the Court finds that the complaint should be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)

         Pursuant 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 or her 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.

         Plaintiff 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 $18.75, and an average monthly balance of $.04. Plaintiff has insufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee. Accordingly, the Court will assess an initial partial filing fee of $3.75, which is 20 percent of plaintiff's average monthly deposit.

         28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court may dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis if the action is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. An action is frivolous if “it lacks an arguable basis in either law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328 (1989). An action is malicious when it is undertaken for the purpose of harassing litigants and not for the purpose of vindicating a cognizable right. Spencer v. Rhodes, 656 F.Supp. 458, 461-63 (E.D. N.C. 1987), aff'd 826 F.2d 1059 (4th Cir. 1987).

         To determine whether an action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the Court must engage in a two-step inquiry. First, the Court must identify the allegations in the complaint that are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1950-51 (2009). These include “legal conclusions” and “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action [that are] supported by mere conclusory statements.” Id. at 1949. Second, the Court must determine whether the complaint states a plausible claim for relief. Id. at 1950-51. This is a “context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id. at 1950. The plaintiff is required to plead facts that show more than the “mere possibility of misconduct.” Id.The Court must review the factual allegations in the complaint “to determine if they plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief.” Id. at 1951. When faced with alternative explanations for the alleged misconduct, the Court may exercise its judgment in determining whether plaintiff's proffered conclusion is the most plausible or whether it is more likely that no misconduct occurred. Id. at 1950, 1951-52.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff is an inmate at PCC and brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against two of his fellow inmates, Frederick Perkins and Marcus McCoy. Plaintiff states that he is “The Prophet, Noble Drew Ali & His Father, The Sultan, who is Allah, Himself.” He states that he is a Moor and the “Original Member” of the MSJ of A, Inc., and he believes that “any other member who joined the temple” is only an acting member.

         Plaintiff objects to two other inmates at Potosi, defendants Perkins and McCoy, from calling themselves “Grand Shieks” because he does not believe that they are “ordained ministers of the MSJ of A, ” and he states that he is the only “original member.”

         Plaintiff states that he wants the Court to give defendants 2, 000 years for violating his laws for “interfering with the true and Divine work that [he] established for any & all of [his] temples to be governed by.” Plaintiff also seeks monetary damages, as well as “Gold & Silver.”

         Discussion

         Section 1983 imposes liability on government actors acting under color of state law. 42 U.S.C. § 1983. “Private actors may incur section 1983 liability only if they are willing participants in a joint action with public servants acting under color of state law.” Johnson v. Outboard Marine Corp., 172 F.3d 531, 536 (8th Cir.1999). Because defendants are identified as inmates at Potosi Correctional Center, and are ...


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