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Williams v. Lloynde

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

August 1, 2017

KEVIN KUNLAY WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
UNKNOWN LLOYNDE, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JEAN C. HAMILTON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff (registration no.201008773), an inmate at St. Charles County Jail, 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 $1.85. 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.

         In this case, plaintiff filed a letter with the Court stating that he could not provide a certified inmate account statement for the six months immediately preceding the complaint because he had not been incarcerated that long. (Docket No. 6). In the instant motion, plaintiff states that he has $9.27 in his prison account. (Docket No. 7 at 3). Therefore, the Court will require plaintiff to pay an initial partial filing fee of $1.85, an amount that is reasonable based upon the information the Court has about plaintiff's finances. See Henderson v. Norris, 129 F.3d 481, 484 (8th Cir. 1997) (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.”).

         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 brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of his civil rights. Named as defendants are: Unknown Lloynde (Correctional Medical Doctor); Debbie Echele (Medical Director) and; Larry Crawford (Director of Corrections). Plaintiff brings this action against defendants in their individual and official capacities.

         Plaintiff asserts that Doctor Lloynde “jabbed” him with his finger and “verbally abused” him and threatened to stop his insulin prescription during a visit plaintiff had with him on March 13, 2017. Plaintiff claims that Medical Director Debbie Echele “could have fired Dr. Lloynde immediately” but she “allowed the abuse to continue.” Plaintiff asserts that Larry Crawford could have also removed Dr. Lloynde from his position, but he did not do so.

         Plaintiff states that “the institution” fails to provide inmates with certified or registered mail, instead only allowing regular mail for legal mail. Plaintiff believes this is “wrong and illegal.” Plaintiff seeks $25 million in damages for his purported violation of his rights.

         Discussion

         Naming an official in his or her official capacity is the equivalent of naming the entity that employs the official. Will v. Michigan Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989). To state a claim against an official in his or her official capacity, plaintiff must allege that a policy or custom of his or her employer is responsible for the alleged constitutional violation. Monell v. Dep't of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 690-91 (1978). The instant complaint does not contain any allegations that a policy or custom of St. Charles County was responsible for the alleged violations of plaintiff's ...


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