United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon review of a complaint filed
by plaintiff Terry Maniel Slayton, an inmate at the Boonville
Correctional Center. For the reasons explained below, the
Court will allow plaintiff to proceed in forma pauperis in
these proceedings, and will assess an initial partial filing
fee of $47.75. Additionally, for the reasons discussed below,
the Court will dismiss the 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 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 originated in the United States District Court for the
Western District of Missouri, where plaintiff filed the
instant complaint on or about April 26, 2019. On May 22,
2019, the Honorable Greg Kays entered an order transferring
the case to this Court on the basis of venue. Judge Kays also
granted plaintiff provisional leave to proceed in forma
Court has reviewed the Financial Affidavit that plaintiff
filed, and has determined to allow plaintiff to proceed in
forma pauperis in these proceedings. The Court has also
reviewed plaintiffs certified inmate account statement, which
shows an average monthly balance of $152.30 and an average
monthly deposit of $238.73. The Court will therefore assess
an initial partial filing fee of $47.75, which is twenty
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 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).
of Missouri Case. net shows that on July 18, 2018, following
a jury trial in the Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis,
plaintiff was convicted of domestic assault, burglary, and
violation of an order of protection. State v. Terry
Maniel Slayton, No. 17220CR02010-01 (22nd Jud. Cir.
2017). On September 26, 2018, he was sentenced to serve a
total of 9 years' imprisonment. Defendant Moench, an
Assistant Public Defender, is listed as plaintiffs counsel of
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
the City of St. Louis, Kimberly Gardner (the Prosecuting
Attorney for the City of St. Louis), Sahara Myer (an
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney), and Moench. ...