United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
DAMAL J. TURNER, Plaintiff,
ST. LOUIS CITY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
RICHARD WEBBER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Damal
J. Turner 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 has determined to grant the motion, and assess an
initial partial filing fee of $7.62. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b)(1). In addition, for the reasons discussed
below, the Court will dismiss the complaint, without
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
$38.11. The Court will therefore assess an initial partial
filing fee of $7.62, 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).
is a pretrial detainee at the St. Louis City Justice Center.
He brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against the St. Louis City Sheriffs Office. He alleges as
3, 2017, plaintiffs father died unexpectedly. Plaintiff
called his defense attorney, who filed a motion in plaintiffs
pending criminal case asking that plaintiff be allowed to
leave prison to view his father's body at the funeral
home. Plaintiff attaches to the complaint a copy of the
docket sheet in his criminal case, which shows that an order
entitled "Funeral Transportation Order" was entered
on June 13, 2017 by the Honorable Barbara Peebles. Indeed,
review of plaintiff s pending criminal case on Missouri
Case.net, the State of Missouri's online
docketing system, shows that on June 13, 2017, Judge Peebles
entered that order, which provided as follows:
The Sheriffs of the City of St. Louis are ordered, if
reasonably practicable, to transport [plaintiff] to the
Pilgrim Temple CME Church, located at 1800 Treadley Avenue,
East St. Louis, IL, at or before 9:00 am on 6/14/17.
[Plaintiff] is to view the body of his father, Duane Turner,
pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Sheriffs
See State v. Turner, Case No. 1622-CR05186 (22nd
Jud. Cir. Dec. 8, 2016).
alleges that his constitutional rights were violated when, on
June 14, 2017, defendant did not obey that state court order.
Plaintiff alleges that he suffered mental and physical
distress, and he seeks ...