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Headrick v. Glass

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

May 10, 2019

TIMOTHY HEADRICK, Plaintiff,
v.
DALE GLASS, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          CATHERINE D. PERRY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Timothy Headrick 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 $2.38. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). In addition, for the reasons discussed below, the Court will partially dismiss the complaint, and direct the Clerk of Court to issue process upon the non-frivolous portions of the complaint.

         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 deposit of $11.88, and an average monthly balance of $8.81. The Court will therefore assess an initial partial filing fee of $2.38, which is twenty percent of plaintiff's average monthly deposit.

         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, 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 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).

         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). 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

         Plaintiff is a pretrial detainee at the St. Louis City Justice Center.[1] He brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against five defendants: Dale Glass (the St. Louis Corrections Commissioner); Adrian Barnes (the St. Louis City Justice Center Superintendent); Dr. Fe Fuentes, Unknown Dahm and Unknown Troupe. He sues the defendants in their official and individual capacities. He alleges as follows.

         Plaintiff asserts that due to a prior incident at the St. Louis City Justice Center, he had a cast on his leg. He claims that he asked both Dr. Fuentes and his Caseworker, Officer Dahm, on three separate occasions to move him from general population to the Justice Center infirmary in order to protect him from attack from other inmates due to the cast on his leg. Plaintiff states that each time he asked to be moved he was told no by defendants Dahm and Fuentes even though other inmates who were on crutches or in wheelchairs were allowed to stay in the infirmary. Plaintiff alleges that on May 4, 2018, he was attacked by another inmate at the Justice Center. Plaintiff states that he was kicked and punched until he was bleeding, and he claims that when he next saw Dr. Fuentes he told her that he didn't want to live in general population as a result of the prior attack and his cast. Plaintiff asserts that Dr. Fuentes told him, “People who write grievances get attacked. Welcome to the Justice Center.”

         Plaintiff claims that he was written up for fighting and placed in segregation as a result of the incident, and defendant Troupe was assigned to hear his “ticket” in order to give plaintiff a chance to hear his story. It appears that plaintiff is claiming that plaintiff sought an appeal from the finding that he was involved in a fight, and he sought an oral hearing with defendant Troupe. Plaintiff asserts that defendant Troupe denied him due process of law because she never showed up for an oral hearing. Plaintiff believes that defendant Troupe failed to show up because he filed a prior grievance against her, but he has failed to indicate why he believes this. At any rate, plaintiff has failed ...


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