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Jackson v. Twin Rivers Hospital

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division

October 17, 2019

TWIN RIVERS HOSPITAL, et al., Defendants.



         This matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Aaron Marcel Jackson, an inmate at the Pemiscot County Jail, for leave to commence this action without payment of the required filing fee. Plaintiffs motion will be granted. Furthermore, based upon a review of the complaint, the Court will stay and administratively close this action pursuant to the Supreme Court case of Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384 (2007), based on the pendency of an underlying criminal case against plaintiff that arises out of the same facts.

         Initial Partial Filing Fee

         Pursuant 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 Court each time the amount in the prisoner's account exceeds $10, until the filing fee is fully paid. Id.

         Plaintiff has submitted a declaration and a copy of his prison account statement for the four-month period immediately preceding the submission of his complaint. Having reviewed plaintiffs financial information, the Court assesses a partial initial filing fee of $44.25, which is twenty percent of his average monthly deposit. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b).

         Legal Standard on Initial Review

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), 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, 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 draw on its judicial experience and common sense. Id. at 679.

         When reviewing a complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court accepts the well-pled facts as true. Furthermore, the Court liberally construes the allegations.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiffs 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights claims arise out of his arrest in Pemiscot County, Missouri on one count of felony abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death under Missouri statute § 568.060.5(2) and two counts of felony abuse or neglect of a child under Missouri statute § 568.060.5(1). He names as defendants Dustin Crawford, Torrance Akins, and Tommy Greenwell (Deputies of Pemiscot County); Caruthersville Child Services Office; Dr. Perez (Twin Rivers Hospital); Dr. Beach (pediatrician); Dr. Swindle (pediatrician); Twin Rivers Hospital; and Hayti Hospital.

         Plaintiff claims defendants Greenwell, Crawford, and Akins maliciously arrested him and defamed his character. He makes no allegations against Caruthersville Child Services Office. He alleges the medical defendants failed to inform him of an alleged lung disease plaintiffs daughter had from birth to age four. His statement of his claim is as follows:

On 12/31/18 I was arrested and charged with neglect resulting in my daughters passing. One autopsy say she passed from [pneumonia]. Another states that she passed from a lung disease called (ILD) which is contracted at birth. Hospitals and Pediatricians failed to inform my spouse and I of any illness or sickness of such nature. Now we are being charged for harming our child or simply not doing enough when that is clearly not what was happening! Please help us.

         For relief, plaintiff seeks $5 million dollars for defamation of character, medical malpractice, ...

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