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Fleeman v. Corizon

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division

January 13, 2020

THOMAS FLEEMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
CORIZON, et al, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Thomas Fleeman for leave to commence this civil action without prepayment of the required filing fee. Having reviewed the motion and the financial affidavit 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 $1.98. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1), Additionally, the Court will require plaintiff to file an amended complaint on a Court-provided form within thirty days of the date of this order.

         28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)

         Pursuant 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 $10.00, until the filing fee is fully paid. Id.

         Plaintiff has submitted an affidavit and a certified copy of his prison account statement for the six-month period immediately preceding the submission of his complaint. A review of plaintiffs account indicates an average monthly deposit of $9.91. Accordingly, the Court will assess an initial partial filing fee of $1.98.

         28 U.S.C. § 1915

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court may dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis if the action is frivolous, 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. An action is frivolous if "it lacks an arguable basis in either law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328 (1989). An action is malicious when it is undertaken for the purpose of harassing litigants and not for the purpose of vindicating a cognizable right. Spencer v. Rhodes, 656 F.Supp. 458, 461-63 (E.D. N.C. 1987), affd 826 F.2d 1059 (4th Cir. 1987).

         To determine whether an action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the Court must engage in a two-step inquiry. First, the Court must identify the allegations in the complaint that are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1950-51 (2009). These include "legal conclusions" and "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action [that are] supported by mere conclusory statements." Id. at 1949. Second, the Court must determine whether the complaint states a plausible claim for relief. Id. at 1950-51. This is a "context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 1950. The plaintiff is required to plead facts that show more than the "mere possibility of misconduct." Id. The Court must review the factual allegations in the complaint "to determine if they plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief." Id., at 1951. When faced with alternative explanations for the alleged misconduct, the Court may exercise its judgment in determining whether plaintiffs proffered conclusion is the most plausible or whether it is more likely that no misconduct occurred. Id. at 1950, 1951-52.

         Discussion

         Plaintiff is currently an inmate at Moberly Correctional Center ("MCC"). He filed this action on August 30, 2019 against Dr. Ruanne Stamps, Nurse Andrea Crader and Corizon, Inc. He is suing defendants in their official and individual capacities.

         Plaintiffs statement of claim is brief. He asserts that he filed an Institutional Resolution Request ("IRR") on September 28, 2018 "seeking treatment" for Hepatitis C. He claims that he was denied treatment by Nurse Andrew Crader. Plaintiff alleges that he then filed a grievance on November 1, 2018 "seeking treatment" for Hepatitis C and was denied treatment by Doctor Ruanne Stamps on November 30, 2018. He claims that he filed a grievance appeal and it was denied by Dr. Thomas Bredeman, Corizon's Association Regional Director.

         Unfortunately, plaintiff does not specify what "treatment" he was seeking for Hepatitis C in his IRR or his grievance and grievance appeals, or if he was, or is, currently receiving treatment by the Missouri Department of Corrections.

         Plaintiff does state in his complaint that he is currently seeking from the Court a "direct acting antiviral DAA drug" that has a 90% cure rate. However, the Court is unsure whether this was the "treatment" that was requested by plaintiff in his ...


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