United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS,
DISMISSING COMPLAINT IN PART, AND DIRECTING SERVICE
E. SCHREIER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Ronald Miner III, is an inmate at the South Dakota State
Penitentiary (SDSP) in Sioux Falls. Miner filed a pro se
civil rights lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and
requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915. Docket 1; Docket 3. The court has now screened
Miner's complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the
following reasons, the court grants Miner's motion to
proceed in forma pauperis, dismisses his complaint in part,
and directs service in part.
complaint generally concerns alleged violations of his right
to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. Docket 1. Miner
alleges that Keith Ditmanson, Kassandra Hall, Joe Welsch,
Robert Fredrickson, and Daren Young created a four point care
plan that was used to punish him. Id. at 5. When the
four point care plan was restarted, Miner alleges that he was
left on the four point care plan for more than twenty-four
hours and denied an hour to walk to prevent blood clots.
also alleges that Ditmanson tried to humiliate him by cutting
off his clothing in front of female guards, without first
providing him the opportunity to remove the clothing himself.
Id. at 13. Miner alleges that Ditmanson directed
correctional officers to harass him verbally and physically.
For example, Miner alleges that correctional officers stepped
on his feet, falsely claimed Miner was resisting, and
unnecessarily used force. Id. Miner alleges that
Andrew Williams assaulted him by performing an “infra
orbital” at Ditmanson's direction. Id.
While performing the “infra orbital, ” Miner
alleges that Williams stated, “ ‘you think I
forgot' or that ‘I'll cuff you up so you can
slip'em and we can fight.' ” Id.
court must accept the well-pleaded allegations in the
complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor
of the non-moving party. Schriener v. Quicken Loans,
Inc., 774 F.3d 442, 444 (8th Cir. 2014). Civil rights
and pro se complaints must be liberally construed.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citation
omitted); Bediako v. Stein Mart, Inc., 354 F.3d 835,
839 (8th Cir. 2004). Even with this construction, “a
pro se complaint must contain specific facts supporting its
conclusions.” Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d
1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985); Ellis v. City of
Minneapolis, 518 Fed.Appx. 502, 504 (8th Cir. 2013).
Civil rights complaints cannot be merely conclusory.
Davis v. Hall, 992 F.2d 151, 152 (8th Cir. 1993);
Parker v. Porter, 221 Fed.Appx. 481, 482 (8th Cir.
complaint “does not need detailed factual allegations .
. . [but] requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007). “If a plaintiff cannot make the
requisite showing, dismissal is appropriate.”
Abdullah v. Minnesota, 261 Fed.Appx. 926, 927 (8th
Cir. 2008); Beavers v. Lockhart, 755 F.2d 657, 663
(8th Cir. 1985). Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the court must
screen prisoner complaints and dismiss them if they
“(1) [are] frivolous, malicious, or fail to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seek
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
I. Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), a prisoner who
“brings a civil action or files an appeal in forma
pauperis . . . shall be required to pay the full amount of a
filing fee.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). The court
may, however, accept partial payment of the initial filing
fee where appropriate. Therefore, “ ‘[w]hen an
inmate seeks pauper status, the only issue is whether the
inmate pays the entire fee at the initiation of the
proceedings or over a period of time under an installment
plan.' ” Henderson v. Norris, 129 F.3d
481, 483 (8th Cir. 1997) (quoting McGore v.
Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997)).
initial partial filing fee that accompanies an installment
plan is calculated according to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1),