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Huntley v. St. Louis County Justice Services

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

October 4, 2017




         This matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff Cartez Huntley (registration no. 55352), an inmate at St. Louis County Justice Center, for leave to commence this action without payment of the required filing fee. For the reasons stated below, the Court finds that the plaintiff does not have sufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee and will assess an initial partial filing fee of $1.19. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Furthermore, after reviewing the complaint, the Court will partially dismiss the complaint and will order the Clerk to issue process or cause process to be issued on the non-frivolous portions of the complaint.

         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 amended motion for in forma pauperis indicating that his six-month account balance is $35.70, with an average monthly balance of $5.95. The Court finds that plaintiff has insufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee. Accordingly, the Court will assess an initial partial filing fee of $1.19, which is 20 percent of plaintiff's average monthly balance.

         28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court must 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 from a defendant who is immune from such relief. An action is frivolous if it Alacks an arguable basis in either law or fact.'' Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328 (1989); Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992). An action is malicious if it is undertaken for the purpose of harassing the named defendants 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). A complaint fails to state a claim if it does not plead Aenough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'' Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of his civil rights. Plaintiff names St. Louis County Justice Services, Lieutenant O'Brien, Correctional Officer Stuart, Captain Robinson, Lieutenant Drews, Correctional Officer Means, Correctional Officer Humphreys, Correctional Officer Phillips and Captain Jett, St. Louis County Mental Health and St. Louis County Health Department as defendants in this action. Plaintiff sues defendants in their official and individual capacities.

         Plaintiff asserts that on June 2, 2017, he was incarcerated at St. Louis County Justice Department. He claims that Correctional Officer Stuart was assisting a nurse who was passing out medication in his housing unit around 8:00 a.m.. He asserts that he told Officer Stuart when she came to his cell that he needed assistance because he had self-mutilated. Plaintiff alleges that Officer Stuart told him that she notified Lieutenant O'Brien of his condition. Plaintiff asserts that Lieutenant O'Brien told plaintiff at that time, to “go ahead and eat on [his] arms.” Plaintiff states that Lieutenant O'Brien invited him to hurt himself more. Plaintiff also claims medical never came to his cell to check on him that day, even though he asked Officer Stuart for medical assistance.

         Plaintiff claims that at the shift change, approximately 10:30 p.m., plaintiff asked to speak to Officer Reed about his self-mutilation and “they came to get him” and placed him on suicide watch. Plaintiff claims that Captain Robinson came to speak with him at that time, but nothing was done about Lieutenant O'Brien's taunts. Plaintiff believes that this was wrong.

         Plaintiff seeks thirty million dollars in monetary relief in this action.


         The Court will issue process on plaintiff's individual capacity claims against Officer Stuart and Lieutenant O'Brien for deliberate indifference to his ...

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