United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
KEITH E. BROWN EL, Plaintiff,
MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon review of a civil complaint
filed by Keith E. Brown El, a prisoner, and a document titled
"Plaintiffs Inability to Provide IFP Required
Info." For the reasons explained below, the Court will
allow plaintiff to proceed in forma pauperis in this action,
and will assess an initial partial filing fee of $ 1.00.
Additionally, the Court will dismiss this action, without
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.
case at bar, plaintiff submitted a document titled
"Plaintiffs Inability to Provide IFP Required
Info." Therein, plaintiff states he tried to obtain a
copy of his inmate account information, but corrections
officials refused to provide it. He also states that
corrections officials refused to notarize his affidavit. The
Court will liberally construe this document as plaintiffs
request for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, and will
grant that request. Additionally, the Court will assess an
initial partial filing fee of $1.00, an amount that is
reasonable based upon the information before the Court.
See Henderson v. Norris, 129 F.3d 481, 484 (8th Cir.
1997) (when a prisoner is unable to provide the Court with a
certified copy of his prison account statement, the Court
should assess an amount "that is reasonable, based on
whatever information the court has about the prisoner's
finances."). Any claim that plaintiff is unable to pay
this amount must be supported by a copy of plaintiff s
institution account statement.
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
the Missouri Department of Corrections, "Farmington
Treatment Program," and the Missouri Board of Probation
and Parole. At present, plaintiff is incarcerated in the St.
Louis City Medium Security Institution. However, the events
giving rise to the complaint occurred when he was
incarcerated in the Missouri Department of Corrections.
complaint is unnecessarily long and repetitive. Condensed and
summarized, plaintiffs allegations are as follows. In 2005, a
judge in the 21 st Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri
sentenced plaintiff to a 12-year prison term, but suspended
the execution of that term and ordered plaintiff to complete
a Missouri Department of Corrections drug treatment program.
Also in 2005, the defendants wrongfully terminated plaintiff
from the drug treatment program, which resulted in the
mandatory execution of the 12-year sentence. Plaintiff
completed that 12-year sentence in March of 2017.
states he does not challenge the 12-year sentence, "but
rather the execution of same pursuant to defendants improper
and illegal 'termination' of him from their drug
'treatment' program." He explains he was
terminated for "lack of therapeutic gain" after he
was issued three conduct violations: one for interfering with
count by over-sleeping, one for smoking in an unauthorized
area, and one for interfering with count by blocking a
guard's view. Plaintiff offers numerous reasons why he
should not have received the conduct violations. He states he
overslept because he was taking prescription medication, his
actions were unintentional, he should have been given a
re-hearing, other offenders in his treatment program class
engaged in more serious conduct and were not terminated, a
certain treatment counselor orchestrated his termination, and
the defendants violated his due process rights, Mo. Rev.
Stat. § 217.362, and ...