United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
DEVONTE L. LITTLE, Plaintiff,
CORIZON, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
D. NOCE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on the motion of plaintiff
Devonte L. Little for leave to commence this civil action
without prepayment of the required filing fee. (Docket No.
2). Having reviewed the motion and the financial information
submitted in support, the Court has determined that plaintiff
lacks sufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee, and will
assess an initial partial filing fee of $1.00. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Additionally, for the reasons
discussed below, the Court will order plaintiff to file a
supplement to his complaint, indicating whether or not he is
suing Nurse Knox in an individual capacity.
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 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 the Court each time the
amount in the prisoner's account exceeds $10.00, until
the filing fee is fully paid. Id.
has failed to submit an inmate account statement along with
his motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Review of
plaintiff s motion indicates that plaintiff does not appear
to have a source of income. As a result, the Court will
require plaintiff to pay an initial partial filing fee of
$1.00. See Henderson v. Norris, 129 F.3d 481, 484
(8th Cir. 1997) (when a prisoner is unable to provide the
Court with a certified copy of his prison account statement,
the Court should assess an amount "that is reasonable,
based on whatever information the court has about the
prisoner's finances"). If plaintiff is unable to pay
the initial partial filing fee, he must submit a copy of his
prison account statement in support of his claim.
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 under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must demonstrate a plausible claim for relief,
which is more than a "mere possibility of misconduct.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). "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 upon judicial experience and common sense. Id.
at 679. The court must "accept as true the facts
alleged, but not legal conclusions or threadbare recitals of
the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere
conclusory statements." Barton v. Tctber, 820
F.3d 958, 964 (8th Cir. 2016). See also Brown
v. Green Tree Servicing LLC, 820 F.3d 371, 372-73
(8th Cir. 2016) (stating that court must accept
factual allegations in complaint as true, but is not required
to "accept as true any legal conclusion couched as a
reviewing a pro se complaint under § 1915(e)(2), the
Court must give it the benefit of a liberal construction.
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). A
"liberal construction" means that if the essence of
an allegation is discernible, the district court should
construe the plaintiffs complaint in a way that permits his
or her claim to be considered within the proper legal
framework. Solomon v. Petray, 795 F.3d 777, 787
(8th Cir. 2015). However, even pro se complaints
are required to 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). See also
Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914-15 (8thCir.
2004) (stating that federal courts are not required to
"assume facts that are not alleged, just because an
additional factual allegation would have formed a stronger
complaint"). In addition, affording 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. United States, 508
U.S. 106, 113 (1993).
is a pretrial detainee currently incarcerated at the St.
Louis City Justice Center (SLCJC) in St. Louis, Missouri. He
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. His
complaint names Corizon, Nurse Unknown Knox, and Dr. Unknown
Fuentes as defendants. Dr. Fuentes is sued in both an
official capacity and individual capacity. Plaintiff does not
indicate the capacity in which he is suing Nurse Knox.
31, 2018, while detained at the SLCJC, plaintiff reported a
severe headache to the housing unit officer. (Docket No. 1 at
4). Plaintiff also advised that on December 9, 2016, he had
been shot in the head. He was directed to fill out a medical
service request form (MSR), which he did. Plaintiff states
that he received no immediate response, despite filling out
August 24, 2018, a medical emergency was called due to
plaintiffs headache, blurry vision, and trouble breathing.
Plaintiff states that Nurse Knox came to the unit. According
to plaintiff, Nurse Knox said that plaintiff did not do
"anything but... complain about a headache." Nurse
Knox took his vitals and sent him back to his cell. Over the
next few weeks, plaintiff asserts that his headache and eye
vision continued to worsen.
point, plaintiff demonstrated to Nurse Knox that he could no
longer open his left eye completely. (Docket No. 1 at 3). He
also told her about his headaches. However, plaintiff alleges
that Nurse Knox told him that "headaches are
plaintiff met with Dr. Fuentes, he requested emergency
medical attention. Plaintiff claims, however, that Dr.
Fuentes offered him only a pain pill for his headaches. He
also states that Dr. Fuentes advised him that headaches can
be caused by stress, and that his blurry vision was a result
of his needing glasses. Dr. Fuentes then referred plaintiff