United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division
ORDER SEVERING CASES, GRANTING PLAINTIFF SMITH LEAVE
TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS AND ASSESSING $350 FILING FEE IN
ACCORDANCE WITH PLRA, DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND GRANTING LEAVE
D. TODD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
September 11, 2019, Plaintiffs Deon Dashon Smith and John
Junior Ferrell, who are incarcerated at the Madison County
Criminal Justice Complex (CJC) in Jackson, Tennessee, filed a
joint pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. (ECF No. 1.) Both Plaintiffs signed the complaint, but
only Smith has filed a motion to proceed in forma
pauperis and a copy of his prison trust account
statement. (ECF No. 2.)
not practicable for multiple pro se inmates to
litigate their claims in a single action, even if their
claims are similar. Therefore, the Court hereby SEVERS the
claims of Plaintiff John Junior Ferrell. The Clerk is
DIRECTED to open a new civil action for Plaintiff Ferrell and
to docket in the new action a copy of the complaint and this
order. This case will proceed with Plaintiff Smith as the
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(a)-(b), a prisoner bringing a civil action
must pay the filing fee required by 28 U.S.C. §
1914(a).Although the obligation to pay the fee
accrues at the moment the case is filed, see McGore v.
Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 605 (6th Cir. 1997),
partially overruled on other grounds by LaFountain v.
Harry, 716 F.3d 944, 951 (6th Cir. 2013), the PLRA
provides the prisoner the opportunity to make a “down
payment” of a partial filing fee and pay the remainder
in installments. Id. at 604. In this case, Smith has
properly submitted an in forma pauperis affidavit
and a certification of his trust account statement as
required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2). The motion to
proceed in forma pauperis is GRANTED in accordance
with the terms of the PLRA.
Smith is ORDERED to cooperate fully with prison officials in
carrying out this order. It is ORDERED that the trust account
officer at Smith's prison shall calculate and submit to
the Clerk of Court a partial initial filing fee equal to
twenty percent (20%) of the greater of the average balance in
or deposits to Smith's trust account for the six months
immediately preceding the completion of the affidavit. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
further ORDERED that after the initial partial filing fee is
fully paid, the trust account officer shall withdraw from
Smith's trust account and submit to the Clerk monthly
payments equal to twenty percent (20%) of all deposits
credited to Smith's account during the preceding month,
but only when the amount in the account exceeds $10, until
Smith's $350.00 share of the civil filing fee is paid.
time the trust account officer makes a payment to the Court
as required by this order, he shall submit to the Clerk along
with the payment a copy of the prisoner's account
statement showing all activity in the account since the last
payment under this order. All payments and account statements
should be sent to:
Clerk, United States District Court, Western District of
Tennessee, 111 S. Highland Ave., Rm. 262, Jackson, TN 38301
and shall clearly identify Smith's name and the case
number as included on the first page of this order.
Smith is transferred to a different prison or released, he is
ORDERED to notify the Court immediately, in writing, of his
change of address. If still confined, he shall provide the
officials at the new facility with a copy of this order. If
Smith fails to abide by these or any other requirements of
this order, the Court may impose appropriate sanctions, up to
and including dismissal of this action, without any
additional notice or hearing by the Court.
Clerk shall mail a copy of this order to the official in
charge of trust fund accounts at Smith's prison.
complaint also is before the Court for screening. Smith sues
the Madison County Sheriff's Department. His allegations
are as follows:
The issues are concerning the living condition of the CJC.
Their [sic] isn't enough living room, beds or mats. There
is black mold and mildrew [sic] in our cells & shower.
Also the floors and walls. There is 4 people to a cell that
only has two bunks. We are also locked in our cells 72 hrs.
at a time without showers or communication with the outside
(ECF No. 1 at PageID 2.) Smith seeks condemnation of the CJC
and $1 million in damages. (Id. at PageID 3.)
Court is required to screen prisoner complaints and to
dismiss any complaint, or any ...