United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. HAMILTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon the motion of Hunter Woodard
(registration no. 42995), an inmate at Southeast Correctional
Center (“SECC”), for leave to commence this
action without payment of the required filing fee. For the
reasons stated below, the Court finds that plaintiff does not
have sufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee and will
assess an initial partial filing fee of $31.75. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Furthermore, based upon a review
of the complaint, the Court finds that the complaint should
be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
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.
has submitted an affidavit and a certified copy of his prison
account statement for the six-month period immediately
preceding the submission of his complaint. A review of
plaintiff's account indicates an average monthly deposit
of $158.75. Accordingly, the Court will assess an initial
partial filing fee of $31.75.
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 for relief under § 1983, a
complaint must plead more than “legal
conclusions” and “[t]hreadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action [that are] supported by mere
conclusory statements.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009). A plaintiff must demonstrate a
plausible claim for relief, which is more than a “mere
possibility of misconduct.” Id. at 679.
“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,
inter alia, draw upon judicial experience and common
sense. Id. at 679.
complaints are to be liberally construed. Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). However, they still
must allege sufficient facts to support the claims alleged.
Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914-15 (8th Cir.
2004); see also Martin v. Aubuchon, 623 F.2d 1282,
1286 (8th Cir. 1980) (even pro se complaints are required to
allege facts which, if true, state a claim for relief as a
matter of law). 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, 364 F.3d at 914-15. In
addition, giving 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.
U.S., 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993).
who is currently incarcerated at SECC, brings this action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of his
civil rights during his incarceration at Farmington
Correctional Center (“FCC”) in Farmington,
Missouri. He names the following individuals as defendants:
Tom Villmer (Warden, FCC); James Griffin (Correctional
Officer, FCC); Paul Blair (Functional Unit Manager, FCC);
Robin Thomas (Caseworker, FCC); and James Horn (Correctional
Officer, FCC). Plaintiff brings this action against
defendants in their individual and official capacities.
claims that on October 25, 2016, he was in Housing Unit 3,
and Officer James Griffin gave plaintiff a conduct violation
for possession/use of an intoxicating substance when Griffin
found “six small bullets of an unknown green leafy
substance appearing to resemble K-2” at plaintiff's
states that after finding the “bullets” of what
appeared to be K-2, Griffin took plaintiff to medical for
review and then placed plaintiff in segregation that same
asserts that after he was taken to segregation, he requested
a drug test, a “truth verification exam” and a
test of the “contraband, ” but he does not
indicate to whom he made these requests or why the requests
were denied, if indeed they were denied.
states that on October 28, 2016, he “went before the
adjustment board” relative to the conduct violation.
Plaintiff chose not to testify on his own behalf, and he
chose not to have any witnesses to testify at his hearing.
states that at the hearing on that date, there was a written
report submitted by James Griffin relating to the incident,
as well as picture evidence of the alleged K-2 bullets. A
statement from the investigator, named “Ralph”
was also given by phone. During Ralph's statement, he
indicated that contraband was tested and it did not test
positive for THC and was suspected to be K-2.
claims that a finding of guilty was made on that date by the
adjustment board, even though he did not have any
“documentary evidence” of his own. Plaintiff does
not indicate exactly what documentary evidence he would have
provided at the hearing. Plaintiff alleges that the disciplinary
hearing “failed to follow the mandates of” the
Missouri Department of Correction's policies and
procedures. Plaintiff believes this resulted in a due process
also complains that the adjustment board did not engage in
enough fact-finding on their own. He states that he believes
they placed too much weight on Officer Griffin's
statement, rather than “acting impartially.”
asserts that the adjustment board gave him the following as
sanctions after finding him guilty of the offense of
“possession/use of an intoxicating substance:” 30
days segregation, one year no premium paying job, recommended
for transfer, one year no-contact visits, and referred to the
Administrative Segregation Committee.
claims that he went before the Administrative Segregation
Committee on November 22, 2016 regarding the conduct
violation. He complains that Jason Horn improperly sat on
both the adjustment board and the Administrative Segregation
Committee, which approved his transfer to another facility
and approved the removal of plaintiff's ...