Wagner v. Brown et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs 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 $12.60 within thirty (30) days of the date of thi s Order. Plaintiff is instructed to make his remittancepayable 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 or iginal proceeding. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk is directed to serve process on defendants Jazeall Brown and Janice Fairless. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendants Brad Burd, John/Jane Doe #1, Gregory Rhodes, Richard Gaines, James Gober, Tom Villmer, Melissa White, Randy Camden, Doug Worsham, Elizabeth Hudson, John/Jane Doe #2, and Tamera White are DISMISSED without prejudice. An Order of Partial Dismissal will be filed separately. Signed by District Judge John A. Ross on 8/21/15. (ARL)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
BENJAMIN WILLIAM WAGNER,
JAZEALL BROWN, et al.,
No. 4:15CV1277 JAR
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 plaintiffs financial information, the Court assesses a partial
initial filing fee of $12.60, which is twenty percent of his average monthly deposit. See 28
u.s.c. § 1915(b).
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, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009).
A plaintiff must
demonstrate a plausible claim for relief, which is more than a "mere possibility of misconduct."
Plaintiff brings this suit against several officials or former officials of the St. Louis City
Justice Center ("SLCJC") and the Farmington Correctional Center ("FCC"). Plaintiff alleges
that defendants violated his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Plaintiff says that from July 2012 through May 2013 defendants Jazeall Brown and
Janice Fairless, who worked in the mail room at SLCJC, did not deliver letters to him, unless the
letters came from the courts. He claims several letters from his family were held, as well as
some IRS documents. And he says that the Circuit Court intervened and ordered defendants to
deliver his mail on March 7, 2013.
Plaintiff alleges that in October 2014 defendant Brad Burd, a correctional officer at FCC,
placed him in administrative segregation. He was litigating his divorce case at the time, and he
told Burd he needed his legal materials to comply with the court's orders. He says Burd refused
to give him the materials and as a result he missed a court deadline. He asserts that he wrote a
letter to defendant Gregory Rhodes about the issue but that Rhodes did not respond.
Plaintiff says that in October 15, 2014, he was placed in administrative segregation
without an explanation other than he was currently under investigation.
He claims that on
October 16, 2014, defendants Rhodes, Melissa White, and Randy Camden held a disciplinary
hearing but did not tell him the nature of the investigation.
He says he was confined in
administrative segregation for one hundred days and was never allowed to introduce evidence on
his own behalf. Plaintiff claims defendants Burd, James Gober, and Tamera White violated his
right to due process oflaw.
Plaintiff is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("LDS"). He
claims that the Missouri Department of Corrections, through defendant Doug Worsham,
classifies LDS as a General Christian group. He says that Catholicism is in its own category.
The separate religious groups are given their own money for religious holidays, and each religion
celebrates its main holidays according to their own faith.
Plaintiff believes that he is being
discriminated against because the LDS Church is not given its own classification. He says that
other Christians do not believe in the Book of Mormon, and so he is burdened because he cannot
preach to them. He wants separate funds for celebrating Mormon holidays.
Plaintiffs claim against defendants Brown and Fairless for obstructing his access to
personal correspondence survives initial review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). As a result, the
Court will direct the Clerk to serve process on these defendants.
Plaintiffs claim against Brown and Fairless are completely unrelated to his claims
against the other defendants, all of whom work at a separate institution. Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 20(a)(2) provides: "Persons ... may be joined in one action as defendants if: (A) any
right to relief is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or
arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences; and (B)
any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action." In other words,
"Claim A against Defendant 1 should not be joined with unrelated Claim B against Defendant
2." George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007). As a result, the remaining defendants
will be dismissed for improper joinder.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs 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 $12.60
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
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk is directed to serve process on defendants
Jazeall Brown and Janice Fairless.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendants Brad Burd, John/Jane Doe #1, Gregory
Rhodes, Richard Gaines, James Gober, Tom Villmer, Melissa White, Randy Camden, Doug
Worsham, Elizabeth Hudson, John/Jane Doe #2, and Tamera White are DISMISSED without
An Order of Partial Dismissal will be filed separately.
Dated this .ei_
""Clay of August, 2015.
ED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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