Pruitt v. Craighead County Detention Center et al

Filing 2

ORDER directing Plaintiff to file an amended complaint, providing the information specified, & a complete application to proceed in forma pauperis, or pay the $350 filing fee, within 30 days of the entry of this Order. Plaintiff is cautioned that failure to fully & timely comply with this Order may result in dismissal of this case without prejudice under Local Rule 5.5(c)(2). Signed by Magistrate Judge Beth Deere on 4/15/09. (jct)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS JONESBORO DIVISION JAMES JERMAINE PRUITT V. C A S E NO.: 3:09CV00046 SWW/BD PLAINTIFF C R A IG H E A D COUNTY DETENTION CENTER, et al. ORDER DEFENDANTS O n April 10, 2009, Plaintiff filed this action under 42 U.S.C. 1983 (docket entry # 1 ). Upon review of the record, the Court notes that Plaintiff has not filed a motion to p ro c e ed in forma pauperis or paid the statutory filing fee. The statutory filing fee for a c o m p la in t under 42 U.S.C. 1983 is $350.00. Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), a prisoner who is permitted to f ile a civil action in forma pauperis still must pay the $350.00 statutory filing fee. 28 U .S .C . 1915(b)(1). The only question is whether a prisoner will pay the entire filing fee a t the initiation of the proceeding or in installments over a period of time. Ashley v. D ilw o rth , 147 F.3d 715, 716 (8th Cir. 1998). The PLRA requires that Plaintiff submit a p ro p e r and complete application to proceed in forma pauperis, along with a calculation sh e e t, prepared and signed by an authorized officer of the correctional facility where he is b e in g held. Based on information contained in the application and calculation sheet, the C o u rt will assess an initial, partial filing fee if sufficient funds exist and will direct the f u tu re collection of monthly installment payments until the filing fee is paid in full. 28 U .S .C 1915(b)(1)-(2). If the prisoner's case is subsequently dismissed for any reason, in c lu d in g a determination that it is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim, or seeks m o n e ta ry relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief, the full amount of th e $350.00 filing fee will be collected, and no portion of this filing fee will be refunded to the prisoner. In addition to addressing the filing fee, the Court is required to screen prisoner c o m p la in ts seeking relief against a governmental entity, officer, or employee. 28 U.S.C. 1915A. The Court must dismiss a complaint, or portion thereof, if the prisoner has ra is e d claims that: (a) are legally frivolous or malicious; (b) fail to state a claim upon w h ic h relief may be granted; or (c) seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune f ro m such relief. 28 U.S.C 1915A(b). To state a cognizable claim under 42 U.S.C. 1983, a plaintiff must allege that the conduct of a defendant acting under color of state la w deprived him of a right, privilege, or immunity secured by the federal Constitution or la w s of the United States. 42 U.S.C. 1983. While a court must accept the factual a lle g a t io n s in the complaint as true and hold a plaintiff's pro se complaint "to less s trin g e n t standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers," Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 5 1 9 , 520-21 (1972) (per curiam), a plaintiff still must assert facts sufficient to state a c la im as a matter of law. Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985). As written, Plaintiff's Complaint fails to state a claim for relief. It appears P la in tif f is attempting to allege a violation of his right to equal protection. "The heart of a n equal protection claim is that similarly situated classes of inmates are treated 2 d if f ere n tly, and that this difference in treatment bears no rational relation to any le g itim a te penal interest." Weiler v. Purkett, 137 F.3d 1047, 1051 (8th Cir. 1998) (citing T im m v. Gunter, 917 F.2d 1093, 1103 (8th Cir. 1990). Plaintiff fails to describe his m e m b e rsh ip in a protected class, the basis of the alleged discrimination, or the specific o f f en d in g conduct of each Defendant. Accordingly, Plaintiff is ordered to file an a m e n d e d complaint providing this information. Plaintiff must file an amended complaint and a complete application to proceed in fo r m a pauperis, or pay the filing fee of $350.00, within thirty (30) days of the entry of th is Order. The Clerk of Court is directed to forward Plaintiff an in forma pauperis a p p lic a tio n , along with a copy of this Order. Plaintiff is cautioned that failure to fully and timely comply with this Order may result in dismissal of this case without prejudice under L o ca l Rule 5.5(c)(2).1 IT IS SO ORDERED this 15th day of April, 2009. ___________________________________ U N IT E D STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE Plaintiff is notified of his responsibility to comply with the Local Rules of the C o u rt, including Rule 5.5(c)(2), which states: "It is the duty of any party not represented b y counsel to promptly notify the Clerk and the other parties to the proceedings of any c h a n g e in his or her address, to monitor the progress of the case, and to prosecute or d e f en d the action diligently. A party appearing for himself/herself shall sign his/her p le a d in g s and state his/her address, zip code, and telephone number. If any c o m m u n ic a tio n from the Court to a pro se plaintiff is not responded to within thirty (30) d a ys , the case may be dismissed without prejudice. Any party proceeding pro se shall be e x p e cte d to be familiar with and follow the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 3 1

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