United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
HERBERT A. SAFFELL, Plaintiff,
UNKNOWN WILSON, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROSS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the motion of Herbert A.
Saffell, an inmate at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and
Correctional Center ("ERDCC"), 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
$25.25. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
Additionally, for the reasons discussed below, the Court will
dismiss plaintiffs claims against defendants Unknown
Hendricks and John Doe Correctional Officer without
prejudice, but will direct the Clerk of Court to issue
process on defendants Correctional Officer Unknown Wilson,
Bubble Officer Unknown Liggett, Unknown Functional Unit
Manager Housing 6 in July 2017 and Caseworker Frances Unknown
in their individual capacities as to plaintiffs claims for
failure to protect in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
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 an inmate
account statement showing an average monthly deposit of
$126.25. The Court will therefore assess an initial partial
filing fee of $25.25.
Standard on Initial Review
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), 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 is malicious if it is undertaken for
the purpose of harassing the named defendants and not for the
purpose of vindicating a cognizable right. Spencer v.
Rhodes, 656 F.Supp. 458, 461-63 (E.D. N.C. 1987),
aff'd, $26 F.2d 1061 (4th Cir. 1987). 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).
determine whether an action fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted, the Court must engage in a two-step
inquiry. First, the Court must identify the allegations in
the complaint that are not entitled to the assumption of
truth. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).
These include "legal conclusions" and
"[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action [that are] supported by mere conclusory
statements." Id. at 678. Second, the Court must
determine whether the complaint states a plausible claim for
relief. Id. at 679. This is a "context-specific
task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its
judicial experience and common sense." Id.
plaintiff is required to plead facts that show more than the
"mere possibility of misconduct." Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 679. The Court must review the factual
allegations in the complaint "to determine if they
plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief."
Id. at 681. When faced with alternative explanations
for the alleged misconduct, the Court may exercise its
judgment in determining whether plaintiffs proffered
conclusion is the most plausible or whether it is more likely
that no misconduct occurred. Id. at 680-82.
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). The Court must weigh all factual
allegations in favor of the plaintiff, unless the facts
alleged are clearly baseless. Denton v. Hernandez,
504 U.S. 25, 32 (1992). 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 dr. 2004).
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
Unknown Wilson (Correctional Officer); Unknown Liggett
(Bubble Officer); Frances Unknown (Caseworker); Functional
Unit Manager Unknown; Unknown Hendricks; Jesse Morgan
(Caseworker); and John Doe Unknown Correctional Officer.
Plaintiff sues the defendants in their individual capacities.
claims stem from a single assault that occurred in August of
2017. According to the complaint, plaintiff was assigned to a
cell with another offender who had a "notorious
reputation with staff and inmates alike for violently
assaulting staff members throughout his tenure in the
MDOC." Plaintiff does not give any specific information
relative to his cellmate's purported violent history.
Instead, plaintiff merely states that on or around June 2017,
after being placed in a cell with Derrick Hubbard, Hubbard
began 'threatening to do great bodily harm" to
states that around July 13, 2017, he reported the threats
from Hubbard to Unknown Wilson, who was the officer on duty.
Plaintiff claims that he asked to be moved at that time, and
that there were cells available to be moved to, but Wilson
"turned a blind eye." However, plaintiff admits
Wilson told him that "he would see about getting me some
paperwork to affect a room move, which would take in excess
of a week or more to transpire." Plaintiff states that
he complained to ...