United States District Court, E.D. Missouri
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is plaintiff Donald Cornell's amended
complaint, as well as a motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis and a motion for extension of time to provide the
Court with a certified copy of his inmate account
statement. For the reasons stated below, the Court
finds that plaintiff does not have 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). Based upon a review of the pleadings, the Court
will order plaintiff to file a third amended complaint.
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 Court each time the amount
in the prisoner's account exceeds $10, until the filing
fee is fully paid. Id.
has not submitted a prison account statement. 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.
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. A pleading that offers “labels and
conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do, ” nor will a
complaint suffice if it tenders bare assertions devoid of
“further factual enhancement.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
conducting initial review pursuant to § 1915(e)(2), the
Court must accept as true the allegations in the complaint
and must give the complaint the benefit of a liberal
construction. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520
(1972). However, the tenet that a court must accept the
allegations as true does not apply to legal conclusions,
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, and 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. U.S., 508
U.S. 106, 113 (1993). 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) (federal
courts are not required to “assume facts that are not
alleged, just because an additional factual allegation would
have formed a stronger complaint”).
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging
violations of his civil rights during his incarceration at
Southeast Correctional Center (“SECC”). On April
22, 2019, the Court reviewed plaintiff's complaint
pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915, and found that plaintiff's complaint failed
to comply with Federal Rules of Procedure 8 and 10. Plaintiff
was ordered to amend his complaint at that time. Plaintiff
filed his amended complaint on May 13, 2019, as well as a
motion to proceed in forma pauperis on that same date.
Plaintiff filed a supplemental pleading on that same date.
Amended Complaint and Supplemental Pleading
Court has reviewed plaintiff's amended complaint and
supplemental pleading and once again finds that it does not
comply with Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8 and 10.
gist of plaintiff's claims appear to relate to conditions
of confinement, but they are buried in a rambling second
amended pleading and supplemental complaint. And
plaintiff's handwriting is extremely challenging to read,
making his assertions against the defendants even more
problematic to discern.
amended complaint, plaintiff names his caseworker Charles
Reed and Warden Jason Lewis as the only defendants in this
action. He brings this action against ...