United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO PROCEED IN
FORMA PAUPERIS AND 1915A SCREENING
ROBERTO A. LANGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Arden Pawneeleggins, filed a pro se civil rights lawsuit
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Doc. 1. Pawneeleggins alleges
violations of the Eighth Amendment and the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA). Id. at 4, 7. He filed a
motion to proceed in forma pauperis and his prisoner trust
account. Docs. 2, 3. Originally, this court assessed
Pawneeleggins a filing fee after granting him leave to
proceed in forma pauperis. Doc. 5. Pawneeleggins did not pay
the filing fee and this court entered judgment against him.
Doc. 14. The judgment was appealed and reversed by the Eighth
Circuit Court of Appeals. Docs. 22, 23, 24. The Eighth
Circuit found that this court abused its discretion when it
assessed a filing fee to Pawneeleggins and dismissed the case
for failure to pay. Id. This court now re-assesses
Pawneeleggins's motion to proceed in forma pauperis and
conducts a 1915 A screening of his complaint.
Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
filed a motion to proceed in forma pauperis, Doc. 2, and a
prisoner trust account report, Doc. 3, showing that he
presently has a balance of negative $2.12. Doc. 3.
His average monthly deposits for the past sixth months were
$30.88 and his balance for the past six months was
negative $4.30. Id. Under 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)." 'When 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.
on the information regarding Pawneeleggins's prisoner
trust account, the court grants Pawneeleggins leave to
proceed in forma pauperis and waives the initial partial
filing fee. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(4)
("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 fee.").
order to pay his filing fee, Pawneeleggins 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 as follows:
After 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). The installments will be
collected pursuant to this procedure. The Clerk of Court will
send a copy of this order to the appropriate financial
official at Pawneeleggins's institution. Pawneeleggins
remains responsible for the entire filing fee, as long as he
is a prisoner. See In re Tyler, 110 F.3d 528, 529-30
(8th Cir. 1997).
Allegations of Pawneeleggins's Complaint
claims that he began his job in the Mike Durfee State Prison
kitchen around December of 2018. Doc. 1 at 4. On December 11,
2018, he allegedly saw a therapist who looked at his swollen
hand and wrote him a "no work order[.]"
Id. He claims that the kitchen boss, Jared, was
aware of his swollen hand and the "no work order"
by email. Id.
claims that even after being notified of the "no work
order" he was consistently called down and asked why he
wasn't at work. Id. On December 20, 2018,
Pawneeleggins claims Officer Kauth told him to go to work.
Id. When Pawneeleggins showed up for work, a
"red headed lady" said that they did not have a
"no work order" on file. Id. Pawneeleggins
refutes this claim and asserts that health services confirmed
that he had a "no work order." Id. at 5;
Doc. 1-1 at 4. On November 30, 2018, Pawneeleggins claims he
was called to the office and told his "no work
order" was from 2013 and he must go to work. Doc. 1 at
5. Pawneeleggins claims that he was threatened with a write
up if he didn't go to work. Id. He asserts that
write ups have a negative impact when an inmate comes up for
parole. Id. Further, Pawneeleggins claims he has had
two "no work orders," one from 2013 and the other
from 2018. Id; Doc. 1-1 at 4.
claims that the defendant was deliberately indifferent and
failed to protect him. Id. at 4, 6. Further, he
alleges a violation of the ADA. Id. at 7. He asserts
that the defendant's behavior has injured him physically,
mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Id. at 5, 6.
Pawneeleggins asks to be reimbursed for his medical expenses
from his past and future claims and to receive $1 million for
punitive damages, $500, 000 for compensatory damages, and
$200, 000 for pain and suffering. Id. at 8. Further,
Pawneeleggins asks the ...