United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS
AND DIRECTING SERVICE
Lawrence L. Piersol United States District Judge
Samuel Salpatoria, is an inmate at the Mike Durfee State
Prison in Springfield, South Dakota. On December 21, 2017,
Salpatoria filed a pro se civil rights complaint (Docket 1).
Salpatoria now moves for leave to proceed in forma pauperis
(Docket 2) and filed a prisoner trust account statement in
support of his motion (Docket 5). This Court has screened
Salpatoria's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915A. For the following reasons, the Court dismisses
Salpatoria's complaint in part and directs service in
March 11, 2016, Salpatoria rented a room at the Rushmore
Motel at 2500 East 10th Street, Sioux Falls, SD. Docket 1 at
15. When returning to his room later that evening, hotel
manager Catherine Ann Woods asked Salpatoria to remove his
property and leave the room. Id. at 16. When
Salpatoria asked for why he needed to leave, he alleges that
Woods told him that she did not want him at the motel.
Id. She threatened to call the police if Salpatoria
did not leave. Id. Salpatoria went into the room and
closed the door. Id.
after, Officer Chap Winkle arrived at the hotel and spoke
with Woods. Id. Winkle and Officer Joseph Larson
then entered the room and told Salpatoria to leave.
Id. Salpatoria explained that he did not want to
because it was dark, cold, and snowy outside. Id.
Winkle and Larson then pushed Salpatoria hard against the
wall, swore at him, and punched him. Id. at 17.
Winkle and Larson then pushed Salpatoria to the ground and
remained on top of him. Id. One officer put his knee
next to Salpatoria's head and kept punching him.
Salpatoria was then tased twice. Id.
Mathis arrived and got Salpatoria off the ground.
Id. The officers then proceeded to construct a story
that Salpatoria chocked and punched officers. Id.
Salpatoria told Mathis that the other officers were lying and
he did not choke or punch officers. Id.
sustained several injuries during the incident with police.
Id. at 5. Sanatoria's injuries included damage
to both of his eyes, ringing in his right ear, and chest
bruises. See Dockets 1-1, 1-2, 1-3.
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. 2007).
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 are
"(1) 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).
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),
which requires a payment of 20 percent of the greater of:
(A) the average monthly deposits to the prisoner's
(B) the average monthly balance in the prisoner's account
for the 6-month period immediately preceding the filing of