Baker v. Bartlett et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER re: 2 MOTION for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis under 42:1983 (prisoner) filed by Plaintiff Shawn Baker motion is Granted. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiff must pay an initial filing fee of $1.80 within thi rty (30) days of the date of this Order( Initial Partial Filing Fee due by 9/6/2016.)IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk is directed to serve process on defendant M. Price. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendants Unknown Bartlett, Bruce Hanesbrink, Ia n Wallace, George Lombardi, Southeast Correctional Center, and Missouri Department of Corrections are DISMISSED without prejudice. An Order of Partial Dismissal will be filed separately.. Signed by District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr on 8/5/16. (MRS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
UNKNOWN BARTLETT, et al.,
No. 1:16-CV-92 SNLJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff, a prisoner, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this civil action under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Having reviewed plaintiff’s financial information, the Court assesses a partial
initial filing fee of $1.80, which is twenty percent of his average monthly deposit. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b). Additionally, the Court will dismiss several of the defendants from this action.
Standard of Review
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court is required to dismiss a complaint filed in forma
pauperis if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
To state a claim for relief under § 1983, 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.
Plaintiff is incarcerated at the Southeast Correctional Center (“SECC”). Plaintiff alleges
that on September 11, 2014, he covered the security camera in his cell with wet toilet paper so
that he could have privacy while using the restroom. Afterward, he was given a conduct
violation for destruction of property. Plaintiff denies that any damage was done to the camera.
Defendant Bartlett found plaintiff guilty of the charge, but he did not order plaintiff to
pay restitution. Defendant Price, the Acting Functional Unit Manager, reviewed the decision and
modified it so that plaintiff was required to pay $317.00 in restitution for damage to the camera.
It is unclear whether plaintiff was given notice or a hearing to object to the fine.
Defendants Hanesbrink, Wallace, and Lombardi denied plaintiff’s grievances on the
The removal of funds from a prisoner’s account without due process might state a claim
for relief under § 1983. See Montanez v. Boyd, 344 Fed. Appx. 833, 835 (3rd Cir. 2009). As a
result, the Court will order the Clerk to serve process on defendant Price.
“Liability under § 1983 requires a causal link to, and direct responsibility for, the alleged
deprivation of rights.” Madewell v. Roberts, 909 F.2d 1203, 1208 (8th Cir. 1990); see Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 676 (2009) (“Because vicarious liability is inapplicable to Bivens and
§ 1983 suits, a plaintiff must plead that each Government-official defendant, through the
official’s own individual actions, has violated the Constitution.”). Plaintiff has not pled facts
showing that defendant Bartlett intended for plaintiff to be fined. As a result, the complaint fails
to state a claim against him.
“Only persons who cause or participate in the [constitutional] violations are responsible.
Ruling against a prisoner on an administrative complaint does not cause or contribute to the
violation.” George v. Smith, 507 F. 3d 605, 609 (7th Cir. 2007) (citations omitted). Therefore,
the complaint does not state a plausible claim against defendants Hanesbrink, Wallace, or
The complaint fails to state a claim against the Missouri Department of Corrections or
SECC because they are not subject to suit under § 1983. E.g., Barket, Levy & Fine, Inc. v. St.
Louis Thermal Energy Corp., 948 F.2d 1084, 1086 (8th Cir. 1991) (agency exercising state
power is not “person” subject to § 1983 suit). As a result, the complaint is dismissed as to these
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF
No. 2] is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiff must pay an initial filing fee of $1.80
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
Prisoners must pay the full amount of the $350 filing fee. 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. The agency having custody of the prisoner will deduct the payments and forward them to the
Court each time the amount in the account exceeds $10. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk is directed to serve process on defendant
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendants Unknown Bartlett, Bruce Hanesbrink, Ian
Wallace, George Lombardi, Southeast Correctional Center, and Missouri Department of
Corrections are DISMISSED without prejudice.
An Order of Partial Dismissal will be filed separately.
Dated this 5th day of August, 2016.
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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