United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
RICHARD WEBBER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff Kyle
Maurice Parks, a federal prisoner, for leave to commence this
civil action without prepayment of the filing fee (Docket No.
12). The motion will be granted, and this case will be
dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).
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 $10.00, until the
filing fee is fully paid. Id.
support of the instant motion, plaintiff submitted an
affidavit and an inmate account statement showing an average
monthly balance of $67.96. The Court will therefore assess an
initial partial filing fee of $13.59, twenty percent of
plaintiff's average monthly balance.
Standard on Initial Review
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.
reviewing a pro se complaint under §
1915(e)(2), the Court must give it 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).
following background provides necessary context for the case
at bar. In December of 2015, plaintiff was indicted in this
Court on a charge of knowingly transporting a minor in
interstate commerce with the intent that the minor engage in
prostitution, and in August of 2016, a Superseding Indictment
was returned that expanded the nature and number of the
charges. See United States v. Parks,
4:15-cr-553-JAR-1 (E.D. Mo. Apr. 19, 2017). Assistant United
States Attorney Howard Marcus, a named defendant in the case
at bar, represented the government during plaintiff's
criminal prosecution. During the pretrial proceedings,
plaintiff was detained in the Ste. Genevieve Detention Center
(“SGDC”). On January 12, 2017, following a jury
trial, plaintiff was found guilty of one count of
transportation of a minor to engage in a commercial sex act,
in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1591(a)(1),
1591(b)(2); two counts of attempted transportation of a minor
to engage in a commercial sex act, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§§ 1591(a)(1), 1591(b)(2); and six counts of
transportation with intent to engage in prostitution, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2421(a). On April 19, 2017,
plaintiff was sentenced to a total term of 300 months'
imprisonment, and committed to the custody of the Bureau of
case at bar, plaintiff filed a complaint on April 7, 2017,
but neither paid the filing fee nor sought leave to proceed
in forma pauperis. This Court ordered him to do one
or the other, and he timely complied. Subsequently, on April
25, 2017, plaintiff filed an amended complaint, which the
Court now reviews pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
However, because defendants Marcus and Deputy United States
Marshal Marten are federal employees, plaintiff's claims
against them for civil rights violations are most properly
brought under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the
Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), the
“federal analog to suits brought against state
officials under” § 1983. Hartman v.
Moore, 547 U.S. 250, 254 n. 2 (2006). A Bivens
claim involves the same analysis as one arising under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Gordon v. Hansen, 168 F.3d 1109,
1113 (8th Cir. 1999).
alleges that his civil rights were violated when the
defendants caused him to be placed in some form of
segregation within SGDC, which plaintiff terms
“confinement, ” and denied him due process.
According to plaintiff's notations next to each
defendant's name in the caption of the amended complaint,
he sues Marcus in his individual capacity, and he sues Marten
and Patricia Karol (an ...