United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
NANNETTE A. BAKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff
Christopher Gerald Smith 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 $27.50. In addition,
for the reasons discussed below, the Court will direct
plaintiff to file an amended complaint.
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 deposit of
$137.50, and an average monthly balance of $70.72. The Court
will therefore assess an initial partial filing fee of
$27.50, which is twenty percent of plaintiff's average
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.
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 Dunklin County Justice Center.
He brings this action against Jail Administrator Nicole
Green, Nurse Ashley Green, Sheriff Bob Holder, Lead
Supervisor Jimmy Smith, Dr. Unknown Pewitt, and the Dunklin
County Justice Center.
complaint contains a long narrative in which plaintiff
describes various things he believes violate the law. For
example, he claims that the jail is overcrowded, there is no
outdoor recreation, the showers are not ADA-compliant, inmate
accounts are debited to pay for medical care and other fees,
he is denied “reasonable accommodations for his
disability, ” and Section 221.090 of the Revised
Statutes of Missouri is unconstitutional. (Docket No. 1 at
7-8). Plaintiff then lists the names of certain defendants,
and states, in conclusory terms, that they violated his
rights. Plaintiff also appears to attempt to assert claims on
behalf of other inmates, and he appears to allege unrelated
claims against not one but six defendants. He seeks
declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief.
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 Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676 (“Because
vicarious liability is inapplicable to Bivens and
§ 1983 suits, a plaintiff must plead that each
Government-official defendant, through the official's own
individual actions, has violated the Constitution.”).
Here, plaintiff has not adequately alleged facts showing how
each defendant was directly involved in or personally
responsible for the alleged violations of his constitutional
rights. The complaint also fails to comply with Rule 8 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which requires, in relevant
part, that a complaint must contain “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). Here, the complaint
contains a long narrative instead of a short and plain
statement of plaintiff's claims. Finally, plaintiff
appears to attempt to assert several unrelated claims against
a group of defendants, and he appears to attempt to bring
some claims on behalf of other inmates, neither of which is
plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court will give him an
opportunity to file an amended complaint. Plaintiff should
type, or neatly print, the amended complaint, and should use
a court-provided form. Plaintiff should select the claim(s)
he wishes to pursue, and limit the factual allegations to
only the defendant(s) who were actually involved. If
plaintiff names more than one defendant, he must only assert
claims that are related to each other. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 20(a)(2). In the alternative, plaintiff may name one
single defendant and bring as many claims as he has against