United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee
A. VARLANCHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
pro se, William Chouinard, an inmate confined to the McMinn
County Justice Center, has submitted this civil rights
complaint for damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 [Doc. 2],
as well as an application for leave to proceed without
payment of fees or costs [Doc. 1].
The Filing Fee
on the financial data provided, Plaintiff's application
to proceed without prepayment of fees [Doc. 1] will be
GRANTED. Nonetheless, because Plaintiff is an inmate, he will
be ASSESSED the filing fee of three hundred and fifty dollars
($350). McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 607
(6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by Jones v.
Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007).
custodian of Plaintiff's inmate trust account at the
institution where he now resides shall submit, as an initial
partial payment, whichever is the greater of: (a) twenty
percent (20%) of the average monthly deposits to
Plaintiff's inmate trust account; or (b) twenty percent
(20%) of the average monthly balance in his inmate trust
account for the six-month period preceding the filing of the
complaint. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)(A)-(B). Thereafter,
the trust account custodian shall submit twenty percent (20%)
of Plaintiff's preceding monthly income (or income
credited to his trust account for the preceding month), but
only when such monthly income exceeds $10.00, until the full
filing fee of $350 has been paid to the Clerk's Office.
McGore, 114 F.3d at 607.
should be sent to: Clerk, U.S. District Court; 800 Market
Street, Suite 130, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902. To ensure
compliance with the fee-collection procedure, the Clerk is
DIRECTED to mail a copy of this memorandum and order to the
custodian of inmate accounts at the institution where
Plaintiff is now confined. The Clerk is also DIRECTED to
furnish a copy of this memorandum and order to the
Court's financial deputy. This memorandum and order shall
be placed in Plaintiff's prison file and follow him if he
is transferred to another correctional institution.
further request contained within Plaintiff's motion to
proceed in forma pauperis is premature and will not
be decided at this time.
Screening Requirement Standard
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”)
district courts must screen prisoner complaints and sua
sponte dismiss those that are frivolous or malicious,
fail to state a claim for relief, or are against a defendant
who is immune. See, e.g., Benson v.
O'Brian, 179 F.3d 1014 (6th Cir. 1999).
screening this complaint, the Court bears in mind that pro se
pleadings filed in civil rights cases must be liberally
construed and held to a less stringent standard than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404
U.S. 519, 520 (1972). Still, the pleading must be sufficient
“to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face, ” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007), which simply means that the factual
content pled by a plaintiff must permit a court “to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged, ” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
“facial plausibility” standard does not require
“detailed factual allegations, but it demands more than
an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation.” Id. (citations and internal
quotation marks omitted). The standard articulated in
Twombly and Iqbal “governs dismissals
for failure to state a claim under [28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2) and 1915A] because the relevant statutory language
tracks the language in Rule 12(b)(6).” Hill v.
Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010).
represents that he possesses “inalienable [sic] rights
to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” [Doc. 2
p. 2]. He argues that “[a]nything that is termed as a
victimless crime is merely a dictatorial violation of a
citizen's pursuit of happiness and violates every
foundation element of our [C]onstitution and [B]ill of
[R]ights” [Id.]. A real crime requires there
to be a victim [Id. at 3]. It is a violation of due
process for a statute or a government agent to be a
“complaining citizen” for the purpose of a
warrant on the accusation of a victimless crime
[Id.]. Plaintiff maintains that it is cruel and
unusual punishment to impose a loss of liberty if found
guilty of a victimless crime [Id. at 4]. Without a
proven victim, Plaintiff argues punishment of incarceration
of a year or more is unconstitutional [Id. at 7].
asserts that there must be a change to the Constitution, such
as the amendment that was added to the Bill of Rights
concerning alcohol [Id. at 5]. He states that
“[t]he loss of freedom for anything not considered a
crime . . . would require a new amendment to the
Constitution” [Id. at 6]. He likens ...