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Monroe v. Precythe

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

February 21, 2018

JASON MONROE, Plaintiff,
ANNE L. PRECYTHE, et al., Defendants.



         This matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Jason Monroe, an inmate at Farmington Correctional Center, 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 assesses a partial initial filing fee of $36.23, which is twenty percent of his average monthly deposit. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). Additionally, plaintiff will be required to amend his complaint on a court-provided form within thirty (30) days of the date of this Memorandum and Order.

         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 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.

         Plaintiff has submitted an affidavit and a certified copy of his prison account statement for the six-month period immediately preceding the submission of his complaint. A review of plaintiffs account indicates an average monthly deposit of $181.16. Accordingly, the Court will assess an initial partial filing fee of $36.23.

         Legal Standard on Initial Review

         Under 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.

         Pro se 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).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff is an inmate at Farmington Correctional Center. He brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against seventeen (17) different defendants. He sues all defendants in their individual and official capacities.[1]

         Count I alleges that the mail censorship procedures at Farmington Correctional Center are in violation of plaintiff s First Amendment rights, "overbroad and restrictive" and go "far beyond a valid penological interest." Plaintiff appears to be asserting that not only is the policy in violation of the First Amendment as written, but it is also in violation of the Constitution as applied. He asserts that it also censors legal mail, as well as pictures and printed materials inmates have in their cells. Just on behalf of this one claim, plaintiff names almost all of the defendants as having applied the policy to him, but he has not alleged when each defendant purportedly acted. He also appears to be asserting a policy and practice claim with regard to his First Amendment claim, and he has also generally mentioned that some of the defendants are responsible for a failure to train claim as a result of this unnecessarily overbroad and restrictive policy.

         Count II appears to be against defendant Kristin Johnson and purports to allege an Eighth-Amendment violation for subjecting plaintiff to disciplinary segregation for a purported mental health disability. Plaintiff has not alleged when this purportedly occurred.

         Count III lies against defendant Coel Jackson, and purportedly occurred on December 2, 2016, when plaintiff states defendant Jackson violated his Eighth Amendment rights by giving him a conduct violation for failing to provide him with a urine specimen in spite of the fact that plaintiff had a known disability.

         In Count IV, plaintiff alleges that defendant Brawley and defendant Clubb subjected him to cruel and unusual punishment by allowing a subordinate to question plaintiff about his failure to produce a urine specimen. Plaintiff also asserts that Director Precythe failed to train her officers in the correct procedures of collecting urine specimens.

         In Count V, plaintiff alleges that defendant Anita Clarke failed to provide him effective medical care even after the Paruresis Foundation sent ...

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