United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division
FREEMAN A. MESTETH, Plaintiff,
MIKE MILSTEAD, MINNEHAHA COUNTY SHERIFF, INDIVIDUAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITY; JEFF GROMER, MINNEHAHA COUNTY WARDEN, INDIVIDUAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITY; NELINDA, AMOUR MEDICAL PROVIDER, MINNEHAHA COUNTY JAIL, INDIVIDUAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITY; JENN HANTKE, LEAD MEDICAL STAFF AT MINNEHAHA COUNTY JAIL, INDIVIDUAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITY; Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS,
DIRECTING SERVICE IN PART, AND DISMISSING COMPLAINT IN
E. SCHREIER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Freeman Mesteth, filed a pro se civil rights complaint
against defendants under 28 U.S.C. § 1983 on March 11,
2019. Docket 1. Mesteth requests leave to proceed in forma
pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Docket 2. Mesteth's
motion to proceed in forma pauperis is granted. The court has
screened Mesteth's complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
and dismisses Mesteth's complaint in part and directs
service in part.
alleges that medical staff at the Minnehaha County Jail,
namely defendants Nelinda and Jenn Hantke, “failed to
provide adequate health procedures” by withholding
“diabetic snack sack[s]” and did not provide
adequate “insulin and various other diabetic medication
and procedures” for diabetic prisoners. Docket 1 at 2,
4. Mesteth additionally alleges that he is not eligible for
eye glasses even though he is an Oglala Lakota, and that he
is entitled to health care and medication by treaty rights
guaranteed by the United States government. Id. at
4. Rather than state an injury, Mesteth re-alleges in his
complaint that he needs consistent medical care related to
his diabetes and vision problems. Id. As relief,
Mesteth requests $270, 000.00 for himself, as well as $50,
000.00 for his attorney, although he filed the complaint pro
se. Id. at 7. Mesteth further requests that the
Minnehaha County Jail change its medical procedures.
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); see also 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); see also 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).
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
the complaint or notice of appeal.
has reported average monthly deposits to his prisoner trust
account of $0.25, an average monthly balance of $0.00, and a
current balance of $0.00. Docket 3 at 1. Based on this
information, the court finds that Mesteth is indigent.
Section 1915(b) states, “In no event shall a prisoner
be prohibited from bringing a civil action . . . for the
reason that the prisoner has no assets and no means by which
to pay the initial partial filing ...