Jones v. St. Louis County Department of Justice Services et al
OPINION 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 not be required to pay an initial filing fee at this time.IT IS FURTHER O RDERED that this action is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that all other pending motions are DENIED AS MOOT. An Order of Dismissal will accompany this Memorandum and Order. 4 2 Signed by District Judge Henry Edward Autrey on 5/7/15. (CLA)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
ST. LOUIS COUNTY JUSTICE, et al.,
No. 4:15CV632 HEA
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff (registration no.159081), an
inmate at the St. Louis County 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 not assess an initial partial
filing fee at this time. 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. §
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 $0, and an average monthly balance
of $0. Plaintiff has insufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee. Accordingly, the Court will not
assess an initial partial filing fee at this time.
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, an inmate at the St. Louis County Justice Center, brings this action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of his civil rights. Named as defendants are: the St. Louis
County Department of Justice Services; Ann Kearney (Nurse); Paul Listenberger (Food Service
Manager); Unknown Gerard (Nurse); and Rita Hendricks (Medical Director).
Plaintiff asserts that on February 13, 2015, he was working in his job as a food service
worker/porter doing cleaning and gathering and breaking down boxes. Plaintiff states that other
inmates were in the same area and working on “breaking down tables.” He claims that they were
moving the tables and “some of the wheels had fallen from under one of the tables causing it to
fall over on the plaintiff as he was attempting to retrieve and pick up boxes from that area.”
Plaintiff states that the “heavy metal table fell upon the plaintiff’s left leg and foot area, breaking
Plaintiff states that he was taken to medical where he was provided with x-rays to assess
the damage, but that “no other medical treatment was conducted.” Although plaintiff states that
“no other treatment was provided,” in his next statement, he asserts that he has been “walking
with the aid of crutches and other items provided.” He admits also to being provided with gauze
sponges and tape to wrap his foot and toes with.
Plaintiff next asserts that he has requested and been approved to see an outside foot
specialist, although he complains that it has taken more than a month to get the outside
appointment. Plaintiff seeks damages for his alleged pain and suffering.
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. As such, plaintiff’s complaint for deliberate indifference to his
serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment will be dismissed.
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 not be required to pay an initial
filing fee at this time.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that all other pending motions are DENIED AS MOOT.
An Order of Dismissal will accompany this Memorandum and Order.
Dated this 7th day of May, 2015
HENRY EDWARD AUTREY
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?