United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING FILING FEE, DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND
DIRECTING FURTHER PROCEEDINGS
William T. Lawrence, Judge
plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed without prepaying
fees or costs, Dkt. No. 2, is granted
because the Court finds that the plaintiff does not have the
assets or means to pay even an initial partial filing fee.
Because the Prison Litigation Reform Act mandates that a
prisoner will not be prohibited from bringing a civil action
for the reason that he lacks the assets and means to pay an
initial partial filing fee, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(4), the
plaintiff will be granted a waiver of payment of the initial
partial filing fee in this case. He is still obligated,
however, to pay the full five dollar filing fee pursuant to
the statutory formula set forth in 28 U.S.C. §
1915(b)(2). See Id. § 1915(b)(1). “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).
plaintiff is a prisoner currently incarcerated at the Federal
Correctional Institution (“FCI”) in Terre Haute,
Indiana. Because the plaintiff is a “prisoner” as
defined by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(h), this Court has an
obligation under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b) to screen his
complaint before service on the defendants. Pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the Court must dismiss the complaint
if it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim for
relief, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 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,
[the] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim for 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). Pro se
complaints such as that filed by the plaintiff are construed
liberally and held to a less stringent standard than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers. Obriecht v. Raemisch,
517 F.3d 489, 491 n.2 (7th Cir. 2008).
Samuel Jay Buck alleges that two fingers on his right hand
were seriously injured on June 15, 2016, by an industrial fan
with a broken safety cage.
Buck wants the defendant to fix or replace the unsafe fans.
He seeks $5, 000 in monetary damages and an earlier release
date so he can seek therapy and nerve treatment.
from misconduct by federal agents may be obtained either by a
suit against the agent for a constitutional tort under the
theory set forth in Bivens v. Six Unknown Named
Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), or by a suit against the
United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act [FTCA] . . .
which permits claims based upon misconduct which is tortious
under state law. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(6), 2680.”
Sisk v. United States, 756 F.2d 497, 500 n.4 (7th
Cir. 1985). Mr. Buck's complaint does not state a claim
under either of these theories of liability.
the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2671, et
seq. (“FTCA”), the only proper defendant is
the United States itself, Hughes v. United States,
701 F.2d 56, 58 (7th Cir. 1982), and the United States is not
included as a defendant in this case. Myles v. United
States, 416 F.3d 551, 552 (7th Cir. 2005) (noting that
the composition and content of the amended complaint are
entirely the responsibility of the plaintiff, for “even
pro se litigants are masters of their own complaints ...