United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
CHRISTOPHER W. FAIRCLOTH, Plaintiff,
BILL BOWYER, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon review of an amended
complaint filed by plaintiff Christopher W. Faircloth, an
inmate at the Farmington Correctional Center
("FCC") who is proceeding herein pro se and in
forma pauperis. For the reasons discussed below, the Court
will dismiss this case, without prejudice.
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).
3, 2019, plaintiff initiated this civil action along with six
fellow inmates. In the complaint, they alleged their
collective rights were being violated because of unsanitary
conditions in particular areas of FCC. More specifically, the
complaint alleged the presence of black mold and pests,
improper sanitization practices, and a lack of proper
cleaning chemicals. Each plaintiff filed a separate motion
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Because the Court
does not allow prisoners to join together and proceed in
forma pauperis in a single lawsuit, the Court severed the
plaintiffs and opened new cases for each one.
case at bar, the Court conducted preliminary review of the
complaint and determined it was defective and subject to
dismissal, and gave plaintiff the opportunity to file an
amended complaint to cure the defects and set forth his own
claims for relief. Plaintiff has now filed an amended
complaint, which the Court reviews pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
filed the amended complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against Warden Teri Lawson, Assistant Wardens Bill Bowyer and
Paul Blair, Deputy Warden Tami White, Cooks Melanie Coffman
and Edmund Jennings, and Sharon Montgomery. He states he sues
Lawson, Bowyer, Blair, White, Coffman and Jennings in their
official and individual capacities. He does not specify the
capacity in which he sues Montgomery.
amended complaint spans 105 pages. It includes sections
plaintiff has titled "Statement of Claim,"
"Legal Claims," and "Prayer for Relief."
It also includes copies of various declarations and grievance
filings from plaintiff and some of the other inmates with
whom plaintiff initiated this action, along with duplicate
copies of some materials. However, despite the manner in
which plaintiff prepared the amended complaint, the Court is
able to discern his claims for relief and his factual
allegations in support. Plaintiff alleges as follows.
August of 2018, plaintiff and several other offenders came
together to deal with all the unsanitary conditions in
A-dining at FCC," the area of the facility in which
plaintiff worked. "All the parties included are
plaintiff, Elvis Kelley, Dale Reed, Charles Lester, Virgil A.
Stallone, and Anthony M. Greer." These individuals filed
informal resolution requests ("IRRs") and
grievances alleging roach infestation, black mold, and lack
of proper cleaning supplies at FCC. The affected buildings
were closed and fumigated, but the black mold remained and
the roaches began to return.
subsequently began working in "Main Production,"
where there are rats. "The Wardens" told plaintiff
and the other inmates that no black mold was found, but
plaintiff believes there is black mold and states he is
OSHA-certified and can recognize it. While in A-dining,
plaintiff and other inmates were asked to use Borax to clean
what plaintiff claims was black mold. Plaintiff and the other
inmates told Melanie Coffman they did not want to perform the
job, and Coffman assigned the job to others. Plaintiff
alleges that he and the other inmates could have been