United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on the motion of plaintiff
Terrell Lee Barrett for leave to commence this civil action
without prepayment of the required 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 $23.02. 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 the 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
submitted a certified inmate account statement. (Docket No.
4). The statement shows an average monthly deposit of
$115.09. The Court will therefore assess an initial partial
filing fee of $23.02, which is 20 percent of plaintiff's
average monthly deposit.
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 (8th
Cir. 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 a pro se litigant who is currently incarcerated in the
Boonville Correctional Center in Boonville, Missouri. He
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, naming
the State of Missouri, the Missouri Department of
Corrections, and Corizon Health Service as defendants.
states that while incarcerated in the Missouri Department of
Corrections, at Moberly Correctional Center, Corizon Health
Service “failed on several occasions to provide proper
medical care to multiple injuries” he sustained while
under their supervision. (Docket No. 1 at 5). Due to this
“inadequate care, ” plaintiff was forced to
undergo “several unsuccessful operations” to both
his left knee and left hand.
in 2013, plaintiff states that he had surgery to repair a
torn left patellar ligament while at the Farmington
Correctional Center. On September 25, 2015, while at the
Moberly Correctional Center, he had surgery for a broken
metacarpal bone. He suffered a reoccurring injury to his knee
on October 16, 2016, also while at the Moberly Correctional
alleges that with regard to his reoccurring knee injury,
“no treatment was ever given or done, ” even
though he asked medical staff multiple times. Similarly, he
claims that “nothing was given or done” even when
he notified medical staff about the “botched
operation” on his hand.
seeks damages in the amount of $5 million for present and
future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and ...