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Scott v. Glass

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

July 24, 2018

LYWAYNE MARQUIS SCOTT, Plaintiff,
v.
DALE GLASS, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JEAN C. HAMILTON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Lywayne Marquis Scott 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 $8.39. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). In addition, for the reasons discussed below, the Court will dismiss the complaint, without prejudice.

         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.

         In support of the instant motion, plaintiff submitted an inmate account statement showing an average monthly balance of $41.96. The Court will therefore assess an initial partial filing fee of $8.69, which is twenty percent of plaintiff's average monthly balance.

         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.

         The plaintiff is required to plead facts that show more than the “mere possibility of misconduct.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. The Court must review the factual allegations in the complaint “to determine if they plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief.” Id. at 681. When faced with alternative explanations for the alleged misconduct, the Court may exercise its judgment in determining whether plaintiff's proffered conclusion is the most plausible or whether it is more likely that no misconduct occurred. Id. at 680-82.

         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

         At the time he filed the complaint, plaintiff was incarcerated in the St. Charles County Department of Corrections. However, the events giving rise to his claims occurred when he was incarcerated, presumably as a pretrial detainee, in the Medium Security Institution (“MSI”). Plaintiff filed the complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Dale Glass (St. Louis Corrections Commissioner), Richard Dixon (Classification Case Manager Coordinator at MSI), and the City of St. Louis. He states he sues the defendants in an individual capacity. He seeks monetary relief.

         In setting forth the facts in support of his claims, plaintiff alleges as follows. From October 20, 2016 to May 15, 2017, defendant Dixon made numerous sexual advances towards plaintiff. Specifically, plaintiff alleges that Dixon, upon seeing plaintiff without a shirt or showering, said “you have a nice body, ” and also called him “sexy.” (Docket No. 1 at 7). Dixon also sexually assaulted him by touching him in a sexual manner with his hand and an ink pen. Dixon also “tried to entice” plaintiff by saying he kept “a couple thousand dollars on him at all times, showing plaintiff money, telling plaintiff money ain't a thang, and threaten to reject plaintiff visitor requests of friends and family.” Id. at 9. Plaintiff alleges that “Dixon has opposed outings at restaurants, gambling dates on the Lumineer, and fashion shopping sprees.” Id. Plaintiff alleges that he lost a job due to Dixon “keeping his words of retaliation and conspiring with” defendant Glass. Id. at 10. Plaintiff states that Glass and Dixon conspired to violate his rights and affect his work status during his stay at MSI.

         Plaintiff alleges he was placed in disciplinary housing from May 11 to May 15, 2017 “for an alleged incident of sexual misconduct with staff - female, which is unrelated to the events at issue in this case.” (Docket No. 1 at 11). Plaintiff alleges that, when he was being processed into disciplinary housing, another officer conducted an inventory of his property, and Dixon violated his fourth amendment rights by confiscating commissary items and personal property. Another officer later told plaintiff that Dixon had seized the property and placed it under investigation. Plaintiff alleges that ...


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