United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
SHIRLEY PADMORE MENSAH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Jakob
Winn, an inmate at the Dixon Correctional Center in Dixon,
Illinois, for leave to commence this civil action without
prepayment of the required filing fee. Having reviewed the
motion and the financial information submitted in support,
the Court has determined to grant the motion and assess an
initial partial filing fee of $4.56. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b)(1). Additionally, for the reasons discussed
below, the Court will direct plaintiff to show cause why this
action should not be dismissed for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction, and to also submit a health care affidavit for
each named defendant as required by section 538.225 of the
Revised Statutes of Missouri.
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.
support of the instant motion, plaintiff submitted an inmate
account statement showing an average monthly deposit of
$19.01, and an average monthly balance of $22.78. The Court
will therefore assess an initial partial filing fee of $4.56,
which is twenty 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 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 for medical negligence against Cardinal
Glennon Hospital and “Unknown Doctor A.” He
alleges federal subject matter jurisdiction on the basis of
diversity of citizenship pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
He avers he is an Illinois citizen, and he states that both
defendants are Missouri citizens. Regarding “Unknown
Doctor A, ” plaintiff states he is an “Unknown
Doctor at Cardinal Glennon Hosp” and that Cardinal
Glennon Hospital is his principal place of business.
support of his claims, plaintiff alleges as follows. On or
around May of 2017, he was admitted to Cardinal Glennon
Hospital for surgery. He had experienced a previous injury
that necessitated metal pin implants in his leg, which was
done at a hospital in Chicago. “The Defendants”
did not evaluate plaintiff's leg themselves, but instead
relied upon statements from someone at the Chicago hospital
regarding the specifications and locations of the pins.
Cardinal Glennon and “Unknown Doctor A” performed
surgery to remove the pins, and the surgeon broke them.
Plaintiff alleges the surgeon failed to take necessary steps
and “was also clearly not qualified to perform the
surgery. He deviated from the normal standards of care and
committed malpractice.” As a result, plaintiff had to
undergo “further painful procedures” and suffered
pain, and “now has permanent damage to his leg.”
Plaintiff avers that “Cardinal Glennon and the Surgeon
would have known about the specifications of the pins had
they took reasonable clinical inquiry, i.e. xrays or other
diagnostic procedures.” Plaintiff seeks “3
million dollars in actual, compensatory and punitive damages:
over the 75, 000 jurisdictional threshold.”