United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
W. SIPPEL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on the motion of plaintiff
Damien Duane Doxley for leave to commence this civil action
without prepayment of the filing fee. (Docket No. 2). Having
reviewed the motion and the financial information submitted
in support, the Court has determined that plaintiff lacks
sufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee and will assess
an initial partial filing fee of $2.38. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Additionally, for the reasons
discussed below, the Court will dismiss plaintiff's
complaint without prejudice.
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 or her 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 his motion to proceed in forma pauperis, plaintiff
has submitted a copy of his certified inmate account
statement. (Docket No. 3). The inmate account statement shows
an average monthly deposit of $11.92. The Court will
therefore assess an initial partial filing fee of $2.38,
which is 20 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 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
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 (8thCir.
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).
is currently incarcerated at the South Central Correctional
Center in Licking, Missouri. At the time relevant to this
complaint, however, he was an inmate at the Southeast
Correctional Center (SECC) in Charleston, Missouri. He brings
this pro se action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. His
complaint names Ian Wallace, Alan Earls, Jason Lewis, Unknown
Applegate, Brandi Meredith, Unknown Beggs, Carl Jacobson,
Jessup Mae, Bill Stange, and SECC as defendants. The
defendants are sued in both their individual and official
complaint arises out of plaintiff's placement into
administrative segregation following a prison disciplinary
hearing. Plaintiff alleges that on April 16, 2016, inmate
Jonathan Jamison was placed into an administrative
segregation cell with him. (Docket No. 1 at 5). Less than
twenty-four hours later, inmate Jamison requested protective
custody. Plaintiff asserts that requesting protective custody
is the only way to move to a different cell without receiving
a conduct violation. Inmate Jamison subsequently left
plaintiff's cell. Two to three months later, inmate
Jamison accused plaintiff of tying him to a bunk with bed
sheets and sexually assaulting him.
time of inmate Jamison's allegations, plaintiff had been
released from administrative segregation. Following the
accusation, plaintiff was placed back into administrative
segregation while an investigation was conducted.
states that defendant Unknown Applegate investigated inmate
Jamison's allegations and determined they were unfounded.
He asserts this means that the allegation was
“determined never to have occurred.” Upon
conclusion of Investigator Applegate's investigation,
plaintiff was released from administrative segregation.
Plaintiff states that defendant Carl Jacobson advised him
“that the investigation was concluded and
unfounded.” Twenty-two days later, defendant Bill
Stange ordered plaintiff back into administrative segregation
and issued a conduct violation for forcible sexual
misconduct. Plaintiff asserts that defendant Jacobson rewrote
the conduct violation despite knowing the investigation
showed it to be unfounded. (Docket No. 1 at 6). Plaintiff
alleges that the actions of defendants Stange and Jacobson
violated his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process.
(Docket No. 1 at 7).
thereafter, plaintiff states that he had a major conduct
violation disciplinary hearing. (Docket No. 1 at 5). At that
hearing, defendants Unknown Beggs and Jessup Mae found
plaintiff guilty of the violation, “despite having no
evidence to substantiate the allegations except what was in
the body of the conduct violation.” Plaintiff further
states that defendants Beggs and Mae disregarded the evidence
he submitted. He claims that the actions of defendants Beggs
and Mae violated his Fourteenth Amendment right to due
process. (Docket No. 1 at 7).
states that he initiated, utilized, and exhausted the
grievance process by appealing the conduct violation and by
requesting dismissal and expungement. (Docket No. 1 at 6).
However, he states that his informal resolution request (IRR)
and grievances were denied. He alleges that defendants Brandi
Meredith, Ian Wallace, and Alan Earls all responded in one
way or another to his grievances, and all were aware that he
was issued a conduct violation after the initial
investigation was unfounded. Specifically, he states that
defendant Meredith reviewed his IRR; that defendant Wallace
sent him a grievance appeal response; and that defendant
Earls failed to overturn his violation when he filed a
grievance appeal. (Docket No. 1 at 7-8; Docket No. 1-1 at 8).
Plaintiff claims that the actions of defendants Meredith,
Wallace, and Earls violated his Fourteenth Amendment right to
due process. (Docket No. 1 at 7-8).
alleges that Warden Jason Lewis failed to take corrective
action, even after plaintiff “advised [him] of the
situation.” (Docket No. 1 at 8). He states that this
violates his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process. He
further states that SECC violated his right to be free from
cruel and unusual punishment by placing him in administrative
segregation for “unfounded false allegations.” As
a result of this incident, plaintiff alleges that he has
suffered mental and emotional anguish from being
“unjustly placed” in administrative segregation
and being “labeled sexually aggressive.” (Docket
No. 1 at 9).
seeks to have his conduct violation dismissed and expunged;
for the Court to order SECC to issue inmate Jamison a conduct
violation for falsely alleging that plaintiff sexually
assaulted him; and for the Court to order defendants to pay
punitive damages for unnecessary administrative segregation
confinement and for mental and emotional anguish. (Docket No.
1 at 11-12).
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming
that defendants violated his Fourteenth Amendment right to
due process when he was given a conduct violation for an
incident that had initially been declared unfounded. For the
reasons discussed below, plaintiff's complaint must be
dismissed for failure to state a claim.
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