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Mason v. Corizon Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

April 10, 2017

MICHAEL D. MASON, Plaintiff,
v.
CORIZON INC., Defendant.

          ENTRY GRANTING IN FORMA PAUPERIS STATUS, DENYING APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL, DISMISSING COMPLAINT, AND DIRECTING FURTHER PROCEEDINGS

          HON. WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         Plaintiff Michael D. Mason, an inmate at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, brings this civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court makes the following rulings:

         I. In Forma Pauperis Status

         The motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, dkt. [3], is granted. Plaintiff is assessed an initial partial filing fee of fifty-one dollars and ninety-three cents ($51.93), which plaintiff is directed to pay to the clerk no later than May 15, 2017. Notwithstanding this ruling, plaintiff is liable for the entire $350 filing fee. “All [28 U.S.C.] § 1915 has ever done is excuse pre-payment of the docket fees; a litigant remains liable for them, and for other costs, although poverty may make collection impossible.” Abdul-Wadood v. Nathan, 91 F.3d 1023, 1025 (7th Cir. 1996).

         II. Motion for Appointment of Counsel

         Plaintiff's motion to appoint counsel, dkt. [4], is denied as premature. The filing fee has not yet been paid, and defendants have not been served nor have they appeared. The Seventh Circuit has found that “until the defendants respond to the complaint, the plaintiff's need for assistance of counsel . . . cannot be gauged.” Kadamovas v. Stevens, 706 F.3d 843, 845 (7th Cir. 2013).

         III. Screening

         A. Legal Standard

         District courts have an obligation under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A to screen complaints before service on defendants, and must dismiss complaints that are frivolous or malicious, fail to state a claim for relief, or seek monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. Dismissal under the in forma pauperis statute is an exercise of the Court's discretion. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 34 (1992). In determining whether the complaint states a claim, the Court applies the same standard as when addressing a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Lagerstrom v. Kingston, 463 F.3d 621, 624 (7th Cir. 2006). To survive dismissal under federal pleading standards,

[the] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Thus, a “plaintiff must do better than putting a few words on paper that, in the hands of an imaginative reader, might suggest that something has happened to [him] that might be redressed by the law.” Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d 400, 403 (7th Cir.2010) (emphasis in original).

         Petitioner's complaint presents two claims, which will be addressed in turn.

         B. First Claim

         Plaintiff's first claim alleges that on November 2, 2016, he passed out “and almost died” and that Nurse Riggs arrived to help him in a tardy manner, unprepared, and failed to call for transportation to an outside hospital, all of which “placed [his] life at risk.” Complaint, dkt. 2, p. 2. Plaintiff does not, however, allege an injury. Booker-El v. Superintendent, 668 F.3d 896, 899 (7th Cir. 2012) (holding that to have Article III standing, a plaintiff must demonstrate “(1) an injury-in-fact; (2) fairly traceable to the defendant's action; and (3) capable of being redressed by a ...


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