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.

Farmer v. New Madrid County

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

February 8, 2019

TIMOTHY RAY FARMER, Plaintiff,
v.
NEW MADRID COUNTY, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JEAN C. HAMILTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Timothy Ray Farmer, a prisoner, 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 will not require plaintiff to pay an initial partial filing fee at this time. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(4). Additionally, for the reasons discussed below, the Court will dismiss this action, 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 account balance of $.35, an outstanding accounts receivable balance of $8.80, and few deposits to his account. In a letter dated November 28, 2018, plaintiff indicates that he owes the jail money, and that he does not have any money. Based upon all of this information, the Court will not require plaintiff to pay an initial partial filing fee at this time. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(4).

         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. 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 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).

         “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.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief is a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw upon judicial experience and common sense. Id. at 679. The court must assume the veracity of well-pleaded facts, but need not accept as true “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements.” Id. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555); see also Brown v. Green Tree Servicing LLC, 820 F.3d 371, 372-73 (8th Cir. 2016) (stating that court must accept factual allegations in complaint as true, but “does not accept as true any legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation”).

         Pro se complaints must be liberally construed. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). This means that if the essence of an allegation is discernible, the court should construe the complaint in a way that permits the plaintiff's claim to be construed within the proper legal framework. Solomon v. Petray, 795 F.3d 777, 787 (8th Cir. 2015). However, even pro se complaints 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). 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). Additionally, giving a pro se complaint the benefit of a liberal construction does not mean that procedural rules must be interpreted so as to excuse mistakes by those who proceed without counsel. See McNeil v. United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993).

         Background

         Plaintiff commenced this civil action on November 6, 2018 by filing a document stating his intention to file a lawsuit to redress violations of his civil rights that occurred during criminal proceedings in the New Madrid Circuit Court. He asked the Court to send him forms to use to bring a civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He neither paid the filing fee, nor sought leave to proceed in forma pauperis.

         In an order dated November 26, 2018, the Court directed plaintiff to either pay the filing fee or seek in forma pauperis status, and to file an amended complaint. The Court directed the Clerk to send plaintiff the appropriate forms, and provided plaintiff with instructions about how to prepare the amended complaint. The Court advised plaintiff that he was required to set forth specific facts showing what each defendant did to violate his rights, and that his failure to do so would result in that defendant's dismissal from the case. The Court also advised plaintiff that he was required to indicate the capacity in which he intended to sue each defendant, and that his failure to sue a defendant in his or her individual capacity may result in that defendant's dismissal. Plaintiff timely filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, and an amended complaint. The Court now reviews the amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).

         The Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against New Madrid County, Prosecuting Attorneys Andrew Lawson and Austin Crowe, Marsha Holiman, “Public Defenders Office, ” Public Defender Susan Warren, Judge Unknown Underwood, “New Madrid County Prosecutor's Office, ” and law enforcement officer Troy Shelly. He indicates he intends to sue Warren, Lawson and ...


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.