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Anderson v. Carrow

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

June 15, 2018

MARK BRUCE ANDERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CORPORAL CARROW, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HENRY EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff Mark Bruce Anderson, an inmate at Ste. Genevieve County Jail, for leave to commence this action without payment of the required filing fee. For the reasons stated below, the Court finds that plaintiff does not have sufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee and will assess an initial partial filing fee of $9.11. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Furthermore, after reviewing the complaint, the Court will order the Clerk to issue process or cause process to be issued on 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 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 plaintiff's account indicates an average monthly deposit of $45.54. Plaintiff has insufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee. Accordingly, the Court will assess an initial partial filing fee of $9.11, which is 20 percent of plaintiff's average monthly deposit.

         Legal Standard on Initial Review

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), 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, 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 draw on its judicial experience and common sense. Id. at 679.

         When reviewing a complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court accepts the well-pled facts as true. Furthermore, the Court liberally construes the allegations.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of his rights under the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Named as defendants are the following employees of the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff's Office: Corporal Carrow, [1] Officer Hattenhauer, and Officer S. Edwards.

         Plaintiff, a federal pretrial detainee, states that between October 9, 2017 and December 20, 2017, he was housed in Ste. Genevieve County Jail's A-pod, which is typically designated for sex offenders, inmates with medical issues, and other inmates needing protective custody.[2]Prior to October 9, 2017, these inmates had been housed in G-pod, which had individual cells to afford them more protection. G-pod also had two intercom locations, and an intercom located in each cell.

         On October 9, 2017, all inmates from the G-pod were moved to the A-pod. A-pod is an “open-bay” style pod with no cells and only one button, located by the main door, for the intercom system. Plaintiff states that jail staff would also place non-sex offenders in A-pod if the jail became overcrowded.

         Beginning in October 2017 and continuing through November 2017, federal inmate J.C. Waller notified defendants Hattenhauer and S. Edwards verbally that plaintiff and two other inmates were being threatened and targeted for serious bodily injury by non-sex offenders housed in A-pod. Waller told defendants that they were placing sex offenders in life threatening danger and disregarding these inmate's health and safety. Defendants Hattenhauer and Edwards responded that they were aware of the dangerous situation, but that Ste. Genevieve County Jail was overcrowded. So aggressive, non-sex offenders were being housed with sex offenders. In response to Waller notifying defendants of continued threats to plaintiff in November 2017, defendants responded that “nobody has been killed.” Plaintiff states defendants continued to ignore these explicit warnings from inmate Waller.

         On December 20, 2017, plaintiff was assaulted by two other inmates in A-pod, William Warden and Matthew Gregory. These violent non-sex offender inmates punched and kicked plaintiff repeatedly in the face and head, causing bruising, swelling, and cuts all over his body. During the attack, the inmates blocked plaintiff's access to the main door and the emergency intercom system in the A-pod. Plaintiff was taken to Ste. Genevieve Hospital for treatment, and was also referred to mental health services. Plaintiff alleges defendants violated the Eighth ...


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