Maybin v. Corizon Healthcare et al
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 plaintiff shall pay an initial filing fee of $12.74 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 proceeding. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff shall submit an amended complaint, in accordance with the instructions set forth in this memorandum and order, on or before July 20, 2016. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the court shall mail to plaintiff a blank form for the filing of a civil rights complaint. Plaintiff may request additional forms from the Clerk, as needed. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel [Doc. 4] is denied, without prejudice. (copy or order and form mailed to plaintiff). Signed by District Judge Carol E. Jackson on 6/20/2016. (KMS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
WILLIAM B. MAYBIN,
CORIZON HEALTHCARE, et al.,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the court on review of plaintiff’s motion for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. 2]. The motion will be granted and plaintiff will
be assessed an initial partial filing fee of $12.74, which is twenty percent of his
six-month average deposit. Additionally, the court will order plaintiff to file an
amended complaint and will dismiss, without prejudice, his request for
appointment of counsel.
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.
either law or fact.@
An action is frivolous if it Alacks an arguable basis in
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328 (1989); Denton v.
Hernandez, 112 S. Ct. 1728, 1733 (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, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1974
Plaintiff, an inmate at the Potosi Correctional Center (PCC), brings this 42
U.S.C. ' 1983 action for alleged constitutional violations against Corizon
Healthcare and its employees, Dr. John Schaeffer and Dr. William McKenney.
Plaintiff alleges that defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical
needs at PCC from 2014 to the present.
Plaintiff=s allegations arise out of numerous different occurrences that took
place during his incarceration at PCC over the past two years.
plaintiff complains that Dr. McKenney took away his special “foot wear” in 2014
and “insisted [plaintiff] wear shoe inserts for flat feet.” Plaintiff claims that Dr.
Schaeffer delayed six months in 2015 before rendering root canal treatment. In
addition, plaintiff complains he is presently receiving “ineffective medication” for
“trigeminal neuralgia.” These separate claims bear no relationship to each other,
and it is unclear what plaintiff’s claims are against defendant Corizon Healthcare.
Moreover, although plaintiff states he is suing Dr. McKenney in his individual
capacity, he has failed to state in what capacity he is suing Dr. Schaeffer.
Rule 18(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states:
A party asserting a claim to relief as an original claim,
counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, may join,
either as independent or as alternate claims, as many
claims, legal, equitable, or maritime, as the party has
against an opposing party.
As such, multiple claims against a single party are valid.
George v. Smith, 507
F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007).
The instant action, however, presents a case involving multiple claims
against, not one, but three defendants.
Such pleading practices are not allowed,
especially in prisoner actions where there could be an incentive to avoid paying
separate filing fees. See id. (district court should question joinder of defendants and
claims in prisoner cases).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20(a)(2) is controlling
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.
Thus, a plaintiff cannot normally seek to join in one lawsuit a multitude of
claims against different defendants, relating to events arising out of a series of
different occurrences or transactions. In other words, AClaim A against Defendant
1 should not be joined with unrelated Claim B against Defendant 2.@
Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007). "Unrelated claims against different
defendants belong in different suits, . . . [in part] to ensure that prisoners pay the
required filing fees - for the Prison Litigation Reform Act limits to 3 the number of
frivolous suits or appeals that any prisoner may file without prepayment of the
required fees." Id.
Because plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, the Court will
give him an opportunity to file an amended complaint in this action. In so doing,
plaintiff should select the transaction or occurrence he wishes to pursue, in
accordance with Rules 18 and 20 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and file
an amended complaint, limiting his facts and allegations to the defendant(s)
involved in said occurrence.
Plaintiff should only include in his amended
complaint those claims that arise out of the same transaction or occurrence, or
simply put, claims that have some relation to each other. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a)(2).
Alternatively, plaintiff may choose to select one defendant and set forth as many
claims as he has against that single individual. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 18(a).
Plaintiff is reminded that he is required to submit his amended complaint on a
court-provided form, and it must comply with Rules 8 and 10 of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. Specifically, in the "Caption" of the form complaint, plaintiff
shall set forth the name of each defendant he wishes to sue; and in the "Statement
of Claim," plaintiff shall start by typing the first defendant=s name, and under that
name, he shall set forth in separate numbered paragraphs the allegations supporting
his claim(s) as to that particular defendant, as well as the right(s) that he claims
that particular defendant violated.
If plaintiff is suing more than one defendant,
he shall proceed in this manner with each of the named defendants, separately
setting forth each individual name and under that name, in numbered paragraphs,
the allegations specific to that particular defendant and the right(s) that he claims
that particular defendant violated.
Plaintiff is instructed not to attach any exhibits
to the amended complaint.
The amended complaint must contain short and plain statements showing
that plaintiff is entitled to relief, the allegations must be simple, concise, and direct,
and the numbered paragraphs must each be limited to a single set of circumstances.
If plaintiff needs more space, he may attach additional sheets of paper to the
amended complaint and identify them as part of the "Caption" or "Statement of
Because the court is allowing plaintiff to amend his complaint, it will
take no action as to the named defendants and improperly joined claims at this
time. Plaintiff is advised that the amended complaint will replace the original
complaint and will be the only pleading this court reviews. See, e.g., In re
Wireless Tel. Fed. Cost Recovery Fees Litig., 396 F.3d 922, 928 (8th Cir. 2005).
Any claims from the original complaint, supplements, and/or pleadings that
are not included in the amended complaint will be deemed abandoned and will
not be considered. Id. Plaintiff is advised that the amended complaint will
replace the original complaint and will be the only complaint that this court
will consider. Id.
If plaintiff wishes to pursue additional claims against additional defendants,
and the claims do not arise from the same transaction or occurrence he has chosen
to advance in his amended complaint, he must file each such claim(s) on a separate
complaint form and either pay the entire filing fee or file a motion for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis.
Last, plaintiff has filed a motion for appointment of counsel [Doc. 3] on the
ground that he cannot afford an attorney. AA pro se litigant has no statutory or
constitutional right to have counsel appointed in a civil case.@ Stevens v. Redwing,
146 F.3d 538, 546 (8th Cir. 1998). When determining whether to appoint counsel
for an indigent litigant, the court considers relevant factors, such as the complexity
of the case, the ability of the pro se litigant to investigate the facts, the existence of
conflicting testimony, and the ability of the pro se litigant to present his or her claim.
After reviewing these factors, the court finds that the appointment of counsel
is not warranted at this time. This case is neither factually nor legally complex, and
it is evident that plaintiff is able to present his claims. Consequently, the motion
will be denied at this time, without prejudice.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff=s motion to proceed in forma
pauperis [Doc. 2] is granted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff shall pay an initial filing fee of
$12.74 within thirty (30) days of the date of this Order. Plaintiff is instructed to
make his remittance payable to AClerk, 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 plaintiff shall submit an amended
complaint, in accordance with the instructions set forth in this memorandum and
order, on or before July 20, 2016.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the court shall mail to plaintiff a blank
form for the filing of a civil rights complaint.
Plaintiff may request additional
forms from the Clerk, as needed.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff=s motion for appointment of
counsel [Doc. 4] is denied, without prejudice.
Dated this 20th day of June, 2016.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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