United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
G. FLEISSIG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff
Daniel Van Allen, an inmate at Farmington Correctional
Center, for leave to commence this action without prepayment
of the filing fee. [Doc. #2]. 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 $1.00. 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).
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 average monthly deposits or
the average monthly balance in the prisoner's account for
the prior six-month period, whichever is greater. 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.
has not submitted a prison account statement. As a result,
the Court will require plaintiff to pay an initial partial
filing fee of $1.00. 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.”). If plaintiff is unable
to pay the initial partial filing fee, he must submit a copy
of his prison account statement in support of his claim.
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.
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,
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
alleging violations of his federal rights to due process. The
sole defendant in this action is the Missouri Parole Board.
alleges that his due process rights were violated when the
Missouri Parole Board wrongfully denied him parole and
disregarded his completion of two prior sex offender
also challenges aspects of the procedure employed during his
parole hearings, claiming that the Parole Board did not seem
to take into account any of the self-help mechanisms that
plaintiff had availed himself of during his incarceration,
including a clean disciplinary record, numerous educational
programs, technical skills courses, receipt of his GED, etc.
In short, plaintiff argues that he was denied parole based on
the fact that his crimes involved sex offenses.
prayer for relief, plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment
that the defendants violated his federal rights and that the
Missouri Parole Board's practices are ...