United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
CEDRIC L. WINTERS, Plaintiff,
DAVID WIEGERT, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROSS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Cedric
L. Winters, 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
assess an initial partial filing fee of $1.07. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Additionally, for the reasons
discussed below, the Court will dismiss the complaint,
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 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.
support of the instant motion, plaintiff submitted a
certified inmate account statement showing an average monthly
deposit of $5.38, and an average monthly balance of $3.59.
The Court will therefore assess an initial partial filing fee
of $1.07, which is twenty percent of plaintiffs average
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 may 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 may 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).
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
Court must liberally construe complaints filed by laypeople.
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 layperson's claim to
be considered within the proper legal framework."
Solomon v. Petray, 795 F.3d 777, 787 (8th Cir. 2015)
(quoting Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th Cir.
2004)). 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, Stone, 364 F.3d at 914-15, nor are
they required to interpret procedural rules so as to excuse
mistakes by those who proceed without counsel. See McNeil
v. United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113(1993).
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
attorney David Weigert, and the Circuit Court for Pemiscot
County, Missouri. He states he sues the defendants in their
official and individual capacities.
claims stem from criminal proceedings in the Circuit Court
for Pemiscot County, in which he was a defendant represented
by Wiegert. In the complaint, plaintiff states he
"entered a plea to second degree assault," and he
also states he was sentenced on June 17, 2014. (Docket No. 1
at 4). In setting forth his claims against the Circuit Court
for Pemiscot County, plaintiff alleges that his "right
to due process as guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth
Amendments to the United States Constitution" and rights
secured by the Missouri Constitution were violated "when
the Court accepted his plea without a sufficient factual
basis to support it" (Docket No. 1 at 4). He alleges
that the Court's acceptance of his plea to second degree
assault was prejudicial because the State could not actually
prove the case against him, and the Court "showed
prejudice by their failure to recognize insufficient factual
basis to support his plea." Id. In setting
forth his claims against Wiegert, plaintiff alleges that
Wiegert was "ineffective" and "failed to
demonstrate the skill and diligence a reasonably competent
attorney would display," and mat plaintiff was
prejudiced by that failure. Id.
claims he suffered injury to his mental health, and false
imprisonment. As ...