Hampton v. Friend et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER..IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. 2] is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiff shall pay an initial filing fee of $1.57 within thirty (30) days of the date of th is Order. Plaintiff is instructed to make his remittance payable to Clerk, United States District Court, and to include upon it: (1) his name; (2) his prison registration number; (3) the case number; and (4) that the remittance is for an original pro ceeding. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk shall not issue process or cause process to issue upon the complaint because the complaint is legally frivolous or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or both. An Order of Dismissal will accompany this Memorandum and Order. ( Initial Partial Filing Fee due by 12/3/2012.). Signed by District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr on 11/1/12. (MRS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
DOUG FRIEND, et al.,
No. 1:12CV179 SNLJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court upon the motion of Ricky Hampton (registration
no. 324094), an inmate at Moberly Correctional Center, for leave to commence this
action without payment of the required filing fee. 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 $1.57. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
Furthermore, based upon a review of the complaint, the Court finds that the complaint
should be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
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, 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 plaintiff’s account indicates an average monthly deposit of
$7.84, and an average monthly balance of $0.00. Plaintiff has insufficient funds to
pay the entire filing fee. Accordingly, the Court will assess an initial partial filing fee
of $1.57, which is 20 percent of plaintiff’s average monthly deposit.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court must 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 from a defendant who is immune
from such relief. An action is frivolous if it “lacks an arguable basis in either law or
fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328 (1989); Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S.
25, 31 (1992). An action is malicious if it is undertaken for the purpose of harassing
the named defendants and not for the purpose of vindicating a cognizable right.
Spencer v. Rhodes, 656 F. Supp. 458, 461-63 (E.D.N.C. 1987), aff’d 826 F.2d 1059
(4th Cir. 1987). A complaint fails to state a claim 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).
Plaintiff brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Named as defendants are
Doug Friend (City Manager, City of Sikeston), Paula Nicols (Public Safety
Employee), Zackery Albright (same), Bobby Penrod (same), Unknown Adams
(same), and the City of Sikeston.
Plaintiff alleges that he was arrested on November 4, 2012. Plaintiff claims
that during the arrest defendant Albright used excessive force by pulling plaintiff’s
hair, “causing blood to be present.” Plaintiff says Albright told Nicols to taze him,
but plaintiff does not allege that Nicols actually tazed him. Plaintiff also complains
that Albright broke his phone and called his girlfriend a prostitute.
Plaintiff claims that defendants Nicols, Penrod, and Adams witnessed this
behavior but did not intervene.
Plaintiff asserts that Albright filed a false arrest report against plaintiff and later
perjured himself on the witness stand. Plaintiff claims that the charges were
dismissed by the prosecutor.
The complaint is silent as to whether defendants are being sued in their official
or individual capacities. Where a “complaint is silent about the capacity in which
[plaintiff] is suing defendant, [a district court must] interpret the complaint as
including only official-capacity claims.” Egerdahl v. Hibbing Community College,
72 F.3d 615, 619 (8th Cir. 1995); Nix v. Norman, 879 F.2d 429, 431 (8th Cir. 1989).
Naming a government official in his or her official capacity is the equivalent of
naming the government entity that employs the official. Will v. Michigan Dep’t of
State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989). To state a claim against a municipality or a
government official in his or her official capacity, plaintiff must allege that a policy
or custom of the government entity is responsible for the alleged constitutional
violation. Monell v. Dep’t of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 690-91 (1978). The
instant complaint does not contain any allegations that a policy or custom of a
government entity was responsible for the alleged violations of plaintiff’s
constitutional rights. As a result, the complaint fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma
pauperis [Doc. 2] is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiff shall pay an initial filing fee
of $1.57 within thirty (30) days of the date of this Order. Plaintiff is instructed to
make his remittance payable to “Clerk, United States District Court,” and to include
upon it: (1) his name; (2) his prison registration number; (3) the case number; and (4)
that the remittance is for an original proceeding.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk shall not issue process or cause
process to issue upon the complaint because the complaint is legally frivolous or fails
to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or both.
An Order of Dismissal will accompany this Memorandum and Order.
Dated this 1st day of November, 2012.
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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