United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
DARREN R. LINDLEY, Plaintiff,
BECKY D. LIZENBEE, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Darren
R. Lindley, an inmate at Southeast Correctional Center
("SECC"), 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 $3.20. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Additionally, for the reasons
discussed below, the Court will direct plaintiff to file an
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
$16.00, and an average monthly balance of $5.18. The Court
will therefore assess an initial partial filing fee of $3.20,
which is twenty percent of plaintiff s average monthly
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
Nurse Practitioners Nina Hill and Rebekah Graham, Nurse Becky
D. Lizenbee, and Dr. Philip Tippen. He states he sues the
defendants in their individual and official capacities. He
claims that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to
his serious medical condition while he was incarcerated at
Southeast Correctional Center.
allegations are either incoherent or wholly conclusory.
Regarding Hill and Lizenbee, he first alleges that, on March
14, 2017, Hill "first removed my cane and replaced with
walker stating all canes removed by order of Major, which was
not true," and that "[t]his all lead to numbness
from left knee down to left foot which lead to cause leg to
go out and I took a fall and broke my left hip." Next,
plaintiff alleges that Lizenbee took away his walker on April
4, 2017, "to which lead to hip being broke. Due to both
Nina Hill and Becky D. Lizenbee removing doctor ordered
medical device with deliberate indifference. They both
deprived me of any medical devices which has caused me to
break my hip." Regarding Dr. Tippen, plaintiff alleges
"at no time did Dr. Tippen intervene over the numbness
in my left leg which he has shown deliberate indifference to
my medical condition to which caused my fall and to break my
hip." Finally, regarding Graham, plaintiff alleges he
saw her "off and on" for complaints and medication
renewal, and she took "one dose of my medication away
for no reason other than to save money!
shows deliberate indifference towards my pain and
suffering!" Attached to plaintiffs complaint are copies
of an Informal Resolution Request, grievance, and grievance
appeal he filed to complain about the removal of his cane and
walker, along with copies of the responses he received. These
documents indicate that plaintiff received regular medical
attention and assessment of his need for assistive devices.
relief, plaintiff seeks compensatory damages from each
defendant of $360, 000 per year from March 14, 2017 to the
present date, and punitive damages of $25, ...