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NUTT v. JOHNSON

October 19, 2005.

GEORGE NUTT; and CLAY WILLIAMS PLAINTIFFS
v.
DR. JOHNSON, Pulaski County Detention Facility, et al. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. RAY, Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Plaintiffs George Nutt and Clay Williams, who are currently being held at the Pulaski County Detention Center ("PCDF"), have filed a single pro se*fn1 Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See docket entry #1. Neither Plaintiff has paid the filing fee or filed an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. Additionally, Plaintiff Williams has not signed the Complaint or raised any personal constitutional violations. Accordingly, the Court will order each Plaintiff to file a separate Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis and a separate Amended Complaint.

I. Payment of the Filing Fee or In Forma Pauperis Applications
  The filing fee for commencing this civil action is $250. No filing payment has been received as of the date of this Order. Thus, the Plaintiffs must either: (1) pay the $250 filing fee in full; or (2) submit separate and properly completed Applications to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. In other words, only one $250 filing fee payment must be paid — and not a separate $250 filing fee for each of the two Plaintiffs. Any such payment must clearly indicate that it is for the filing fee of "Nutt and Williams. v. Johnson, et al.; 4:05CV01400 JLH/JTR." In contrast, if the Plaintiffs choose to proceed in forma pauperis, rather than paying the filing fee, they must each file separate and properly completed Applications to Proceed In Forma Pauperis.

  In the instance that Plaintiffs choose to request permission to proceed in forma pauperis, they should be aware that, even if such permission is granted, they must, nevertheless, pay the $250 filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). The only difference is that by being granted permission to proceed in forma pauperis, Plaintiffs will be allowed to pay the $250 filing fee in installments over a period of time, rather than in one lump payment. Ashley v. Dilworth, 147 F.3d 715, 716 (8th Cir. 1998). However, Plaintiffs should be aware that if their case is subsequently dismissed for any reason, including a determination that it is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief, the full amount of the $250 filing fee will be collected, and no portion of this filing fee will be refunded to the prisoner. II. Screening

  The Prison Litigation Reform Act requires federal courts to screen prisoner complaints seeking relief against a governmental entity, officer, or employee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or a portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that: (a) are legally frivolous or malicious; (b) fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (c) seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

  In conducting its review, the Court is mindful that a complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim only if it appears beyond doubt that a plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of the claim or claims that would entitle him to relief. Springdale Educ. Ass'n v. Springdale Sch. Dist., 133 F.3d 649, 651 (8th Cir. 1998). The Court must accept the factual allegations in the complaint as true and hold a plaintiff's pro se complaint "to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972). However, such liberal pleading standards apply only to a plaintiff's factual allegations. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n. 9 (1989). A plaintiff's complaint still must contain allegations sufficient to state a claim, as a matter of law, and must not set forth allegations that are merely conclusory. Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985).

  In the Complaint, Plaintiff Nutt alleges that Defendants delayed approximately ten days in providing him with medical care for a spider bite. See docket entry #1. As it now stands, Plaintiff's allegations are too vague to enable the Court to determine whether they are frivolous/malicious or fail to state a claim for relief under § 1915A.

  In contrast, Plaintiff Williams has not raised any allegations in regard to inadequate medical care or any other constitutional violations that he personally suffered. Additionally, Plaintiff Williams did not sign the Complaint.

  Accordingly, the Court will send each Plaintiff a separate Amended Complaint form, which they must individually complete, sign, and return to the Court within thirty days of the entry of this Order. Plaintiffs must complete each part of the supplied form without attaching any additional sheets or writing on the back of the supplied form and, when possible, provide specific facts concerning their allegations including, where applicable, dates, times, and places.

  Finally, the Court notes that, within the last month, Plaintiff Williams has filed four other lawsuits in this district: (1) Williams et al. v. Johnson, et al. 4:05CV01315 JMM/JWC; (2) Williams et al. v. Johnson, et al., 4:05CV01346 WRW/HDY; (3) Williams et al. v. Johnson, et al. 4:05CV01347 JLH/HDY; and (4) Williams et al. v. Johnson, et al. 4:05CV01357 WRW/HDY. In most of those actions, Plaintiff has not raised separate allegations as to how his constitutional rights were personally violated and, instead, merely signed Complaints raising allegations suffered by other detainees at the PCDF. As explained in footnote 1 to this Order, Plaintiff Williams may incur a separate "strike" if he is dismissed from any of those actions because: (1) they are malicious or frivolous; (2) Plaintiff Williams has failed to state a separate claim upon which relief may be granted; or (3) Plaintiff Williams fails to timely and properly respond to a Court order. Thus, it would be better for Plaintiff to file a Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss himself from any case in which he does not allege a personally suffered constitutional violation.

  III. Conclusion

  1. The Clerk is directed to send Plaintiffs Nutt and Williams separate Applications to Proceed In Forma Pauperis, along with separate prisoner calculation sheets.

  2. Plaintiffs Nutt and Williams shall, within thirty days of the entry of this Order, either: (a) pay the $250 filing fee in full; or (b) file separate and properly completed Applications to Proceed In Forma ...


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