Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cox v. Jordan

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

July 18, 2018

MICHAEL E. COX, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN JORDAN, et al, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JOHN A. ROSS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Michael E. Cox 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. In addition, for the reasons discussed below, the Court will direct the Clerk of Court to issue process upon 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 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 his 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.

         In support of the instant motion, plaintiff submitted an inmate account statement showing an average monthly balance and an average monthly deposit of $0, and an outstanding debt of $93.00. The Court will therefore not assess an initial partial filing fee at this time.

         Legal Standard on Initial Review

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court is required to dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis if it is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. An action is frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis in either law or fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328 (1989). An action is malicious if it is undertaken for the purpose of harassing the named defendants and not for the purpose of vindicating a cognizable right. Spencer v. Rhodes, 656 F.Supp. 458, 461-63 (E.D. N.C. 1987), aff'd 826 F.2d 1059 (4th Cir. 1987). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).

         To determine whether an action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the Court must engage in a two-step inquiry. First, the Court must identify the allegations in the complaint that are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). These include "legal conclusions" and "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action [that are] supported by mere conclusory statements." Id. at 678. Second, the Court must determine whether the complaint states a plausible claim for relief. Id. at 679. This is a "context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id.

         Pro se complaints are to be liberally construed, Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976), but they still must allege facts which, if true, state a claim for relief as a matter of law. Martin v. Aubuchon, 623 F.2d 1282, 1286 (8th Cir. 1980). The Court must weigh all factual allegations in favor of the plaintiff, unless the facts alleged are clearly baseless. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32 (1992). 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 v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914-15 (8th Cir. 2004).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff is a pretrial detainee at the Cape Girardeau County Jail. He brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Sheriff John Jordan, Nurse Charlotte Unknown, and Dr. Unknown Pruitt. He states he sues the defendants in an official and individual capacity.

         According to the complaint, plaintiffs psychiatrist has prescribed Thorazine, Lunesta, Xanax, and Ability, which plaintiff was taking before his incarceration. Plaintiff has not been given his medication while incarcerated, and as a result is getting "sick" and hearing voices telling him to "kill people and do crazy stuff." (Docket No. 1 at 4-5). Plaintiff also has a history of suicide attempts. He has written several requests to Nurse Charlotte and Dr. Pruitt about restarting his medication, but is told: "we are not starting your meds back, you can get them when you get back out on the streets." Id. at 5. He is not being permitted to see a doctor. He has written to defendant Sheriff Jordan about the situation, "to no avail." Id. at 4. As for the relief he seeks, plaintiff writes: "I need my medication. Please help." Id. at 5.

         Discussion

         Because plaintiff is a pretrial detainee, his claims of inadequate medical care are analyzed under the fourteenth amendment rather than the eighth amendment. Stickley v. Byrd,703 F.3d 421, 423 (8th Cir. 2013). However, because the fourteenth amendment affords pretrial detainees "at least as great protection" as that given to convicts under the eighth amendment, courts apply the identical standard as that applied to claims of inadequate medical care brought by convicts. Crow v. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.