United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROSS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court upon the motion of
self-represented plaintiff Cedric Bell for leave to commence
this action without prepayment of the required filing fee.
Having reviewed the motion and the financial information
submitted in support, the Court will grant the motion and
waive the initial partial filing fee. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b)(1). Furthermore, after reviewing the
complaint, the Court will order the Clerk to issue process or
cause process to be issued against the defendants in their
Partial Filing Fee
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 riling fee is fully paid. Id.
has submitted an application to proceed in the district court
without prepaying fees or costs. Where the form application
states that an inmate must submit a certified prison account
statement with the application, plaintiff wrote: "Refuse
by D.C.J.C." The Court interprets this to mean that the
institution where plaintiff is being detained, Dunklin County
Justice Center, has refused to provide an account statement.
In his form application, however, plaintiff states that he
has no money in cash or in any checking or savings account.
ECF No. 2 at 2. Taking this into consideration, the Court
will not assess an initial partial filing fee at this time.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(4) ("In no event
shall a prisoner be prohibited from bringing a civil action
... for the reason that the prisoner has no assets and no
means by which to pay the initial partial filing fee.").
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, is malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 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.
reviewing apro se complaint under 28 U.S.C. §
1915, the Court accepts the well-plead facts as true,
White v. Clark, 750 F.2d 721, 722 (8th Cir. 1984),
and liberally construes the complaint. Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); 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 (8th Cir. 2004) (refusing to supply
additional facts or to construct a legal theory for the
pro se plaintiff that assumed facts that had not
a pretrial detainee at the Dunklin County Justice Center
("DCJC"), filed this action under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, alleging violations of his civil rights against three
employees at DCJC: (1) Casey Clayton (supervisor correctional
officer); (2) Connor Bishop (correctional officer); and (3)
Ruby Unknown (correctional officer). Plaintiff names all
three defendants in their individual capacities only.
complaint is based on an incident of alleged excessive force
by defendants. The statement of his claim is as follows:
On Sept. 9, 2019, 1, Cedric Bell #15329 was handcuffed in
cell #125 when c/o Connor Bishop rush[ed] me into the wall,
then with evil motives start[ed] choking me. Then Supervisor
Casey Clayton instead of interven[ing to] stop c/o Connor
he deployed his taser and dry-stunned tazed me in the neck
and c/o Ruby (unknown last name) came over and place[d]
another taser to my leg. I [received a] laceration to my left
wrist and pain to my chest. These officers by [doing] this
violated my 4th amendment of the Constitution.
ECF No. 1 at 3. Plaintiff summarizes his injuries as
"laceration to the left wrist, chest pain, and pain
suffering." Id. at 5. For relief, plaintiff