United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Eastern Division
LINDA R. READE, Chief District Judge.
The matter before the court is the plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis (docket no. 1). The clerk's office filed such application on May 12, 2015. Along with his application to proceed in forma pauperis, the plaintiff submitted a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (docket no. 1-1). In addition, the plaintiff filed a supplement (docket no. 2) on May 22, 2015, a second supplement (docket no. 3) on May 22, 2015, a third supplement (docket no. 4) on June 9, 2015 and a fifth supplement (docket no. 5) on July 1, 2015.
II. IN FORMA PAUPERIS UNDER 28 U.S.C. § 1915
The plaintiff did not submit the statutory filing fee. See 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a) (requiring filing fee). In order for a court to authorize the commencement of an action without the prepayment of the filing fee, a person must submit an affidavit that includes a statement of all the assets the person possesses. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). In addition, a prisoner must submit a certified copy of the trust fund account statement (or institutional equivalent) for the 6-month period immediately preceding the filing of the complaint, obtained from the appropriate official of each prison at which the prisoner was or is confined. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2). Based on the plaintiff's application and certificate of inmate account, it is clear that the plaintiff does not have sufficient funds to pay the required filing fee. Thus, in forma pauperis status shall be granted to the plaintiff. See generally 28 U.S.C. § 1915. The clerk's office shall file the complaint without the prepayment of the filing fee.
A prisoner bringing a civil action in forma pauperis is required to pay the full $350.00 filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). The full filing fee will be collected even if the court dismisses the case because it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted or seeks money damages against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Because the court deemed it appropriate to grant the plaintiff in forma pauperis status, the plaintiff is required to pay the full filing fee by making payments on an installment basis. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1); see also In re Tyler, 110 F.3d 528, 529-30 (8th Cir. 1997) ("[T]he [Prisoner Litigation Reform Act] makes prisoners responsible for their filing fees the moment the prisoner brings a civil action or files an appeal.").
Concerning the computation of the initial partial filing fee, the plaintiff is required to submit 20 percent of the greater of his average monthly account balance or average monthly deposits for the six months preceding the filing of the complaint. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Based on his average monthly balance and deposits, the court finds that the initial partial filing fee is $1.00. Id . The plaintiff shall submit $1.00 by no later than August 17, 2015. Id . If necessary, the plaintiff may request in a written motion an extension of time to pay the initial partial filing fee.
In addition to the initial partial filing fee, the plaintiff must "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 statute places the burden on the prisoner's institution to collect the additional monthly payments and forward them to the court. Specifically,
[a]fter payment of the initial partial filing fee, the prisoner shall be 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 shall forward payments from the prisoner's account to the clerk of the court each time the amount in the account exceeds $10 until the filing fees are paid.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). Therefore, after the plaintiff pays in full the initial partial filing fee, the remaining installments shall be collected by the institution having custody of the plaintiff. Id . The clerk's office shall send a copy of this order and the notice of collection of filing fee to the appropriate official at the place where the plaintiff is an inmate.
III. STANDARD OF REVIEW
A pro se complaint must be liberally construed. See Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9 (1980); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972) (per curiam); Smith v. St. Bernards Reg'l Med. Ctr., 19 F.3d 1254, 1255 (8th Cir. 1994). In addition, unless the facts alleged are clearly baseless, they must be weighed in favor of the plaintiff. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992). A court, however, can dismiss at any time a complaint filed in forma pauperis if the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). A claim is "frivolous" if it "lacks an arguable basis in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); accord Cokeley v. Endell, 27 F.3d 331, 332 (8th Cir. 1994). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Accordingly, a court may review the complaint and dismiss sua sponte those claims that fail "to raise a right to relief above the speculative level....'", see Parkhurst v. Tabor, 569 F.3d 861, 865 (8th Cir. 2009) (quoting Bell Atl., 550 U.S. at 555), or that are premised on meritless legal theories or clearly lack any factual basis, see Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 325. See, e.g., Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. at 27 (considering frivolousness); Myers v. Vogal, 960 F.2d 750, 751 (8th Cir. 1992) (concluding that a district court may dismiss an action if an affirmative defense exists).
Currently confined at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville, Iowa, the plaintiff, proceeding pro se, submitted a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to redress issues that are related to his prosecution and conviction. Jurisdiction is predicated on 28 U.S.C. § 1343. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b), venue appears to be proper as the defendants are located in this district and the events giving rise to the instant action occurred in this district. The statement of claim portion of the complaint and supplements indicate that the plaintiff is dissatisfied with events that relate to See State v. Virgil, Case No. SRCR201742 (Black Hawk Cnty. Dist. Ct. 2015), State v. Virgil, Case No. SRCR200691 (Black Hawk Cnty. Dist. Ct. 2014), and/or State v. Virgil, Case No. SRCR198312 (Black Hawk Cnty. ...