United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division
RICHARD A. SEATON, SR., Plaintiff,
JOHNSON COUNTY JAIL, ET AL., Defendants.
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on review of plaintiff Richard
A. Seaton, Sr.'s amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915. (Docket No. 9). For the reasons discussed below,
this action must be dismissed without prejudice. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
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 factual allegation”).
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).
filed his original complaint on November 29, 2018, along with
a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, a motion to
appoint counsel, and a motion for preliminary injunction and
temporary restraining order. (Dockets No. 1, 2, 4, 5). On
December 11, 2018, the Court granted plaintiff's motion
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis and assessed an
initial partial filing fee of $45.56. (Docket No. 8). The
Court further denied his motion to appoint counsel and his
motion for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining
Court also ordered plaintiff to file an amended complaint due
to defects in his initial complaint. Specifically, the Court
noted that plaintiff's claims against a number of
defendants in Johnson County, Missouri, were not brought in
the proper venue. As to the remaining defendants, the Court
explained that plaintiff had failed to allege their direct
responsibility for violating his constitutional rights.
Specifically, plaintiff's complaint contained a general
outline of his medical situation, but then relied on vague
and conclusory language to assert liability, rather than
demonstrating a nexus between each defendant and the harm he
or she personally caused.
Court directed the Clerk of Court to send to plaintiff a copy
of the Court's civil rights complaint form. Plaintiff was
given thirty days in which to file an amended complaint
according to the instructions set forth in the order. On
January 2, 2019, plaintiff filed an amended complaint, which
is subject to review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
times relevant to this amended complaint, plaintiff was
incarcerated at the Farmington Correctional Center (FCC) in
Farmington, Missouri. He brings this action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. The amended complaint is handwritten on a
Court-provided form and includes a number of grievances and
grievance responses that will be treated as part of the
pleading. Plaintiff names Corizon Healthcare
Services, Dr. Robert Wudel, and Nurse Dawn Wade as
defendants. Dr. Wudel and Nurse Wade are sued in both their
official and individual capacities. (Docket No. 9 at 2-4).
alleges that Corizon has denied him the “necessary eye
care subscribed by outside physicians” by not
permitting Dr. Wudel to treat his eye condition. (Docket No.
9 at 5). He states that this denial amounted to deliberate
indifference, causing him “to lose what eyesight he did
have left in his left eye.” Plaintiff further alleges
that Dr. Wudel “refused to properly treat [him] for his
eye condition, ” thereby being “deliberately
indifferent to his medical needs.” Finally, plaintiff
claims that Nurse Wade “was deliberately indifferent
when she failed to process, from diagnosis, the failing
condition of plaintiff's eye condition.”
on the documents attached to the complaint, it appears that
plaintiff suffers from macular degeneration, for which he has
been receiving Avastin injections. (Docket No. 9 at 12, 15).
Plaintiff asserts, however, that an outside specialist has
prescribed Ranibizumab injections, but that this has not been
approved as part of his treatment plan. (Docket No. 9 at
16-17). He alleges that he has not received the Ranibizumab
injections because of the high cost. (Docket No. 9 at 7).
eye condition existed before he entered FCC. However, he
states that the failure of defendants to treat him in the way
prescribed by an outside specialist has caused him to
“lose what vision he did have before defendants'
denial to treat him.” (Docket No. 9 at 5). Plaintiff
seeks an order directing defendants to provide him with the
eye injections prescribed by his outside ...