Williamson v. Corizon, Inc. et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER.. IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff shall have thirty (30) days from the date of this Memorandum and Order in which to submit his initial partial filing fee of $1.70.IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall not iss ue process or cause process to issue upon the amended complaint because it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and is malicious. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff's case and all of his cause s of action against all defendants are hereby DISMISSED without prejudice. A separate order of dismissal will be entered herewith. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that an appeal from this dismissal would not be taken in good faith Initial Partial Filing Fee due by 11/14/2016.. Signed by District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr on 10/12/16. (MRS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
CORIZON, INC., et al.,
No. 1:15CV220 ACL
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court upon review of the file. On September 22, 2016, this
Court ordered plaintiff to show cause why this action should not be dismissed due to his failure
to comply with previous Court orders to pay the initial partial filing fee. On October 3, 2016,
plaintiff submitted a response. This Court will grant plaintiff an additional thirty days to pay the
initial partial filing fee, and will also dismiss this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court shall 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 Alacks 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). A complaint fails to state a claim if it
does not plead Aenough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.@ Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). 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
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.” Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1950. The Court must
review the factual allegations in the complaint “to determine if they plausibly suggest an
entitlement to relief.” Id. at 1951.
Plaintiff filed his original complaint in this Court on November 30, 2015. On that same
date, plaintiff filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. On December 7, 2015, The
Court noted that plaintiff had failed to submit the financial information required by 18 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(2), and ordered him to submit it within thirty days. On December 31, 2015, plaintiff
submitted a response explaining problems he was experiencing obtaining the financial
information,1 and the Court granted him an extension of time to March 1, 2016. (Doc. 7). On
Also on December 31, 2015, plaintiff submitted a document purporting to serve the complaint upon defendants,
and threatening them with default judgment if they failed to file an answer. (Docket No. 6).
March 3, 2016, plaintiff submitted the required information, and the Court granted his motion for
leave to proceed in forma pauperis and ordered him to pay an initial partial filing fee of $1.70.
The Court also noted that the complaint failed to indicate that plaintiff had exhausted his prison
administrative remedies and failed to make specific and actionable allegations against each
named defendant, and ordered him to file an amended complaint. In that Order, the Court
specifically instructed plaintiff that the amended complaint must contain a short and plain
statement showing he was entitled to relief. Plaintiff sought and was granted additional time to
comply with that Order.
On August 19, 2016, plaintiff filed an amended complaint, but did not pay the initial
partial filing fee. The Court ordered him to show cause why his case should not be dismissed
due to his failure to do so, and on October 3, 2016, plaintiff submitted a response written in a
threatening tone. (Docket No. 18). In that response, plaintiff wrote that he had “responded to
this inferior Court each time,” accused the Court of intentionally delaying his case, and accused
the presiding judge of engaging in various forms of deceitful and wrongful behavior, including
having inappropriate relationships with people at the prison. Plaintiff made other disparaging
remarks about the judge, and stated that he was going to “spread the word about” her. (Id. at p.
1-2, 4, 6). Regarding his non-payment of the filing fee, plaintiff wrote that it was the state’s
fault, and then wrote: “Got it??!” (Id. at 5).
The Amended Complaint
The amended complaint is very long and vociferous. It is comprised of little more than
profanity and graphic language.
For example, in describing having received “unconstitutional
clothing,” plaintiff wrote: “They got me f**k-up for bi**h or a soft a** mother***ker to think
I’m a that s**t . . . these bi**hs need to die or get they ass wumped for real!!” (Docket No. 16 at
31). The amended complaint also referred to one of the individual defendants as a bi**h and
crazy, and described her as: “overweight, tall, no eyebrows, ‘spooky wide eye,’ med late 50
aged, female: she looks and comes off to all who meet her as ‘someone out of a supsence [sic]
book (villainous character) has a complex with authority and relationships as it comes to my full
knowledge and awareness that I am the only (male) inmate she (fixationally) [sic] had a fixation
on” . . . she has ‘stalker’ written all over her.” (Id. at 38).
Plaintiff is before the Court in forma pauperis, meaning the Court has a duty to dismiss
the case at any time if the court determines that fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted, is frivolous, or malicious. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Upon consideration, the Court
determines that the amended complaint is subject to dismissal because it fails to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted, and also because it is malicious.
A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead
Aenough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.@ Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
Corizon can be held liable in a lawsuit such as this only for its unconstitutional policies or
practices. It cannot be held liable for the actions of its employees under a theory that employers
are responsible for the actions of their employees. Burke v. North Dakota Dept. of Corr. &
Rehab., 294 F.3d 1043, 1044 (8th Cir. 2002). In other words, Corizon is liable here only if it had
a “policy, custom, or official action that inflicted an actionable injury.” Johnson v. Hamilton, 452
F.3d 967, 973 (8th Cir. 2006). Here, because the amended complaint fails to allege that Corizon
had a policy, custom, or official action that inflicted an actionable injury, it fails to state a claim
against Corizon. Regarding the individual defendants, the amended complaint contains little
more than legal conclusions, it often refers to the defendants collectively, and it fails to convey a
short and plain statement showing a plausible claim for relief. It therefore fails to state a claim
for relief against the individual defendants.
The amended complaint is also subject to dismissal because it is malicious. A court may
determine that an action or allegation is malicious by considering the “totality of the writing”
including objective factors such as the circumstances and history surrounding the complaint, the
tone of the allegations, and whether the complaint alleges facts which are probative and vital to
the life of the lawsuit. Spencer, 656 F. Supp. at 463; see also Cochran v. Morris, 73 F.3d 1310,
1316 (4th Cir. 1996) (when determining whether an action is malicious, the Court need not look
only to the complaint itself, but may also look to plaintiff=s other litigious conduct). An action is
malicious when it is undertaken for the purpose of harassing litigants and not for the purpose of
vindicating a cognizable right. Id. at 461-63. Abuse of the judicial process is another ground
upon which an action can be determined to be malicious. Ballentine v. Crawford, 563 F. Supp.
627, 628-29 (N.D. Ind. 1983).
Plaintiff’s conduct before this Court mandates a finding of maliciousness in this action.
Despite the fact that plaintiff was given leave to amend his complaint to convey a short and plain
statement of the facts surrounding his claim, he chose instead to file a profanity-riddled diatribe
that was obviously intended to shock and offend the Court and personally disparage the
defendants. See In re Tyler, 839 F.2d 1290, 1293 (8th Cir. 1988) (finding that disrespectful or
abusive language warrants a finding that an action is malicious). Among the relief plaintiff seeks
is “$100 million as compensatory damages,” “$5,000,000 as punitive damages,” and criminal
charges against the defendants. (Docket No. 16 at 49). A reading of the amended complaint,
along with plaintiff’s other filings in this case, make it clear that plaintiff is not trying to
vindicate a constitutional right, but is instead trying to harass the defendants and the Court.
Assisting him in doing so would fly in the face of justice. Spencer, 656 F. Supp. at 463. As a
result, the Court finds that this action is malicious, and will dismiss this case for that reason, as
well. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); Spencer, 656 F. Supp. at 461-63 (an action is malicious when it
is undertaken for the purpose of harassing litigants and not for the purpose of vindicating a
Therefore, for all of the foregoing reasons,
IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff shall have thirty (30) days from the date of this
Memorandum and Order in which to submit his initial partial filing fee of $1.70. 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 of Court shall not issue process or cause
process to issue upon the amended complaint because it fails to state a claim upon which relief
can be granted and is malicious. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff’s case and all of his causes of action against
all defendants are hereby DISMISSED without prejudice. A separate order of dismissal will be
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that an appeal from this dismissal would not be taken in
Dated this 12th day of October, 2016.
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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