United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROSS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Carl
Michael Butler, Jr., for leave to commence this civil action
without prepayment of the required filing fee. Having
reviewed the motion and the financial information submitted
in support, the Court will grant the motion and assess an
initial partial filing fee of $2.44. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b)(1). In addition, for the reasons discussed
below, the Court will direct plaintiff to file an amended
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 inmate
account statement showing an average monthly balance of
$12.20. The Court will therefore assess an initial partial
filing fee of $2.44, which is 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
complaints are to be liberally construed. Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). However, they still
must allege sufficient facts to support the claims alleged.
Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914-15 (8th Cir.
2004); see also Martin v. Aubuchon, 623 F.2d 1282,
1286 (8th Cir. 1980) (even pro se complaints are required to
allege facts which, if true, state a claim for relief as a
matter of law). Federal courts are not required to
"assume facts that are not alleged, just because an
additional factual allegation would have formed a stronger
complaint." Stone, 364 F.3d at 914-15. In
addition, giving 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).
a pretrial detainee at the Washington County Jail, brings
this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Sheriff
Zachary Jacobson, Steven L. Rion, Kevin Snow, Christopher
Barton, Shannon Thompson, Marvin Wright, Cody Brinley, and
Amanda Randazzo. He sues each defendant in an official and
alleges that he asked certain defendants for access to a law
library. He then states he was unable to file motions and
that the motions he tried to file were never heard. He states
he complained to certain defendants about overcrowding, mold,
and lack of cleaning supplies, and about his need for a towel
and hygiene supplies. He then states that "the
officials" said "we do not have to follow federal
law or any law other than our own" and "we do not
have to answer grievances." (Docket No. 1 at 6). He
states that the Washington County Jail has no form of
recreation, and that the floor in the day room has been
turned into living quarters. He states he has not received
"the right diet" and that he has complained but
received no response other than "jail officials"
stating that "it is what it is." Id. at 7.
He states he requested the use of a law library to file
pretrial motions because he wants to fire his public
defender, and file a motion to dismiss his criminal case. He
states he has "requested medical attention for [his]
teeth and as to date have not been able to see medical
staff." Id. He states that certain defendants
entered the jail one day with a reporter, who documented
black mold and overcrowding. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages
in the amount of $500, 000.
pleaded, the complaint fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted against any named defendant. In setting
forth his claims, while plaintiff states that he complained
about various things and requested medical treatment, he does
not explain what each named defendant actually did, or failed
to do, that violated his rights. Liability under § 1983
requires a causal link to, and direct responsibility for, the
alleged deprivation of rights. Madewell v. Roberts,
909 F.2d 1203, 1208 (8th Cir. 1990); see also Martin v.
Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1338 (8th Cir. 1985) (claim not
cognizable under § 1983 where plaintiff fails to allege
defendant was personally involved in or directly responsible
for incidents that injured plaintiff). In order to state an
actionable civil rights claim against a defendant, a
plaintiff must set forth specific factual allegations showing
what that particular defendant actually did, or failed to do,
that violated the plaintiffs federally-protected rights.
See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); see
also Ellis v. Norris, 179 F.3d 1078, 1079 (8th Cir.
1999) (a plaintiff must plead facts showing each named
defendant's personal involvement in the alleged
plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court will allow him to
file an amended complaint. Plaintiff is warned that the
amended complaint will completely replace the original.
E.g., In re Wireless Telephone Federal Cost Recovery Fees
Litigation,396 F.3d 922, 928 (8th Cir. 2005). Plaintiff
must submit the amended complaint on a court-provided form,