United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CHARLES A. SHAW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on plaintiff Willie
Willis's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
(Docket No. 5). Having reviewed the motion and the financial
information submitted in support, the Court has determined
that plaintiff lacks sufficient funds to pay the entire
filing fee, and will assess an initial partial filing fee of
$2.83. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
Additionally, for the reasons discussed below, the Court will
direct the Clerk of Court to issue process on defendants
Charlotte Unknown, Unknown Stevens, and Susan Unknown in
their individual capacities.
U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)
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 the Court each time the
amount in the prisoner's account exceeds $10.00, until
the filing fee is fully paid. Id.
support of the instant motion, plaintiff submitted an
affidavit and a certified inmate account statement. (Docket
No. 2). The certified inmate account statement showed an
average monthly deposit of $14.13. The Court will therefore
assess an initial partial filing fee of $2.83, which is 20
percent of plaintiff's average monthly deposit. If
plaintiff is unable to pay the initial partial filing fee, he
must file an updated inmate account statement with the Court.
Standard on Initial Review
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 under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must demonstrate a plausible claim for relief,
which is more than a “mere possibility of
misconduct.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
679 (2009). “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 upon judicial experience and common sense.
Id. at 679. The court must “accept as true the
facts alleged, but not legal conclusions or threadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements.” Barton v. Taber,
820 F.3d 958, 964 (8th Cir. 2016). 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 is not required
to “accept as true any legal conclusion couched as a
reviewing a pro se complaint under § 1915(e)(2), the
Court must give it the benefit of a liberal construction.
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). A
“liberal construction” means that if the essence
of an allegation is discernible, the district court should
construe the plaintiff's complaint in a way that permits
his or her claim to be considered within the proper legal
framework. Solomon v. Petray, 795 F.3d 777, 787
(8th Cir. 2015). However, even pro se complaints
are required to 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). See also
Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914-15 (8th
Cir. 2004) (stating that federal courts are not required to
“assume facts that are not alleged, just because an
additional factual allegation would have formed a stronger
complaint”). In addition, affording 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. United States, 508
U.S. 106, 113 (1993).
is currently an inmate at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic
& Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri. At all
times relevant to this complaint, however, he was a pretrial
detainee incarcerated in the Cape Girardeau County Jail in
Jackson, Missouri. (Docket No. 4 at 2).
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The
amended complaint is handwritten on a Court-provided form.
Plaintiff has also filed a supplement to his amended
complaint, which will be treated as part of the
pleading. (Docket No. 6). When liberally construed,
his complaint asserts claims against three defendants: Head
Nurse Charlotte Unknown; Assistant Nurse Unknown Stevens; and
Assistant Nurse Susan Unknown. (Docket No. 4 at 2-3). All
three defendants are sued in their individual
states that on September 30, 2018, he broke his arm. (Docket
No. 4 at 4). On October 12, 2018, he underwent surgery, and a
rod was placed in his injured arm. He states that his
physician, Dr. Edwards, prescribed him medication for the
pain. (Docket No. 6 at 2). However, he alleges that when he
arrived at the Cape Girardeau County Jail, the nurses refused
to give him his medication. (Docket No. 4 at 4).
Specifically, he alleges that Head Nurse Charlotte Unknown,
and Assistant Nurses Unknown Stevens and Susan Unknown, did
not want to give him the medication prescribed by his doctor.
Plaintiff claims that he suffered constant pain that kept him
alleges that his inability to get his pain medication was an
ongoing issue. He states that he requested the medication on
numerous occasions, but defendants refused. (Docket No. 6 at
3). He states that he was only offered Tylenol, though he
mentions this had to be ordered from the commissary.
Plaintiff asserts that he went back to his doctor for a
follow-up appointment. (Docket No. 6 at 1). At this
appointment, his arm was x-rayed and the doctor wrote another
prescription for pain medication. Again, however, he claims
that defendants refused to have it filled.
alleges that the denial of his prescription medication
amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. (Docket No. 4 at
5). He is seeking the ...