United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff
DeAngelo Thomas-El, an inmate at the Potosi Correctional
Center (PCC), 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 $1.39. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b)(1). Additionally, for the reasons discussed
below, the Court will dismiss this action pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
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 a
certified inmate account statement showing an average monthly
deposit of $6.96, and an average monthly balance of $5.18.
The Court will therefore assess an initial partial filing fee
of $1.39, which is twenty percent of plaintiff's average
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).
initiated this action on June 24, 2019 by filing a complaint
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Anne Precythe
(Director of the Missouri Department of Corrections), Warden
Chantay Godert, Assistant Warden Michelle Thompson, and Case
Managers A. Cullen and J. Mundell. Therein, he alleged the
defendants violated his constitutional rights by failing to
provide him with necessary legal assistance/supplies and by
subjecting him to cruel and unusual punishment. On September
9, 2019, plaintiff filed an amended complaint against the
same defendants, along with a notice stating he would like
the Court to allow the amended complaint to proceed as if it
was an “original filing.” Indeed, an amended
complaint replaces an original complaint. See In re
Wireless Telephone Federal Cost Recovery Fees
Litigation, 396 F.3d 922, 928 (8th Cir. 2005) (“It
is well-established that an amended complaint supersedes an
original complaint and renders the original complaint without
legal effect”). Additionally, the amended complaint
presents the same claims based upon the same facts that
occurred at the same time as in the original. The Court now
reviews the amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
filed the amended complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against Precythe, Godert, Thompson, Cullen and Mundell. He
sues the defendants in their individual capacities.
claims arise from two separate incidents in which he was
denied legal assistance/supplies. The first incident occurred
on September 24, 2018. The second began on or before ...