Hightower v. Medical Staff/St. Louis Justice Center
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: 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 shall pay an initial filing fee of $1.80 no later than January 5, 2015. Plain tiff 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 send plaintiff a copy of the Courts prisoner civil rights complaint form. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff shall submit an amended complaint no later than January 5, 2015. ( Initial Partial Filing Fee due by 1/5/2015, Response to Court due by 1/5/2015.)(copy of order and complaint form mailed) Signed by District Judge Carol E. Jackson on 12/9/2014. (KMS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MEDICAL STAFF/ST. LOUIS JUSTICE
No. 4:14-CV-1959 CEJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court upon the motion of David Hightower (registration no.
105362), an inmate in the St. Louis City Justice 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 $1.80. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Additionally, the Court will direct plaintiff to
file an amended complaint.
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 sixmonth 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 $9.00, and a negative monthly
balance. Plaintiff has insufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee. Accordingly, the Court will
assess an initial partial filing fee of $1.80, which is 20 percent of plaintiff's average monthly
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 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). 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
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).
Plaintiff brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The only named defendants are
“Medical Staff” and St. Louis City Justice Center. Plaintiff alleges that when he was arrested on
June 19, 2014, the police assaulted him and injured his left arm. Plaintiff claims that the police
took him to the Justice Center, where his injury was noted but not treated. Plaintiff says that he
did not receive any medical treatment for several weeks. According to plaintiff, when his arm
was finally x-rayed it was discovered that he had two fractures. Plaintiff seeks monetary relief.
Plaintiff has not named a proper defendant that can be sued under § 1983. See Ketchum
v. City of West Memphis, Ark., 974 F.2d 81, 82 (1992) (police departments are not suable
entities because they are subdivisions of city government); Phelps v. United States, 15 F.3d 735,
739 (8th Cir. 1994) (fictitious parties, like “medical staff,” cannot be named as defendants.). As
a result, the complaint is legally frivolous.
Because plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court will allow him to file an amended
complaint. Plaintiff shall have until January 5, 2014, to do so. Plaintiff must name as defendants
the individuals directly responsible for his injuries, and he must state whether he intends to sue
defendants in their official or individual capacities, or both. Plaintiff is warned that the filing of
an amended complaint replaces the original complaint, and claims that are not realleged are
deemed abandoned. E.g., In re Wireless Telephone Federal Cost Recovery Fees Litigation, 396
F.3d 922, 928 (8th Cir. 2005). If plaintiff fails to file an amended complaint as directed, the
Court will dismiss this action without prejudice.
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 shall pay an initial filing fee of $1.80 no
later than January 5, 2015. 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 send plaintiff a copy of the Court’s
prisoner civil rights complaint form.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff shall submit an amended complaint no later
than January 5, 2015.
Dated this 9th day of December, 2014.
CAROL E. JACKSON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?