United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
HAROLD D. ISAAC, Plaintiff,
MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
NANNETTE A. BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on review of pro se plaintiff
Harold D. Isaac's civil complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915. For the reasons discussed below, plaintiff will
be directed to file an amended complaint on a Court-provided
form. Furthermore, he must either pay the filing fee or file
a motion to proceed in forma pauperis.
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. Taber,
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 factual
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 plaintiff's 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 (8th Cir. 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 currently an inmate at the Potosi Correctional Center
(PCC) in Mineral Point, Missouri. On September 30, 2019, he
filed a document with the Court that has been construed as a
civil complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Docket
No. 1). The complaint is handwritten and not on a Court form.
begins by complaining that on shower nights, guards do not
have clean clothing to distribute, and that he has only one
t-shirt, one pair of socks, one pair of boxers, one sheet,
one blanket, one face towel, and no big towel. (Docket No. 1
at 1-2). He states that this is an issue because he has tinea
versicolor,  which has manifested itself as a rash that
has spread to his pelvis and private parts. (Docket No. 1 at
3). Plaintiff alleges that his condition requires an exchange
of clothing and bedding every twenty-four hours. Despite his
requests, however, plaintiff has not received extra clothing.
further claims that upon his first visit with Dr. McKinney,
the physician at PCC, he was denied a medical lay-in that
would keep him out of food services. (Docket No. 1 at 4). As
a consequence, he had to work in the food services steam room
and to share work clothing with another inmate who also had
tinea versicolor. Because of this, he wants to file a case
against Dr. McKinney and Corizon, Inc. (Docket No. 1 at 5).
also levies a number of accusations concerning his time spent
on suicide watch from June 15, 2019 until September 13, 2019.
First, he states that on June 15, 2019, he was not placed in
a suicide cell when he declared himself suicidal. (Docket No.
1 at 7). Plaintiff subsequently attempted to hang himself.
after being placed in a suicide cell, plaintiff claims he was
put on meal-loaf for nine meals, and that the guard would
drop the meal-loaf into his cell, which meant that plaintiff
was “forced to eat food off the floor.”
plaintiff alleges that Officer Huett “constantly”
served his food trays without first flushing his toilet,
meaning that he had to eat while “enduring the smell of
urine and [feces].” (Docket No. 1 at 8). He states that
Officer Huett did this intentionally, and only singled out
the black inmates on suicide watch.
plaintiff states that “on one particular day, ”
Officer Gordan refused to give him toilet paper. This
purportedly occurred as retaliation for plaintiff threatening
to report Officer Gordan and Officer Huett to the U.S.
Commission on Civil Rights.
plaintiff asserts that Officer Huett filed a false conduct
violation against him in retaliation for his threatening her
with lawsuits. (Docket No. 1 at 10).
plaintiff claims that he was denied showers for over thirty
days, even though mental health officials approved him to
take them. During his entire stay on suicide watch, he only
showered four times. (Docket No. 1 at 16).
plaintiff states that while he was on suicide watch, the
guards never exchanged his used smock or blanket for clean
ones. (Docket No. 1 at 12). Each time he asked for a fresh
smock or blanket, he was advised that none were available. He
was offered a paper smock, but declined due to the cold.