United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY GRANTING MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA
PAUPERIS AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
William T. Lawrence, Judge
matter is before the Court for resolution of Plaintiff
Maurice Bennett's motion for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis and for screening of his complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma
Bennett's motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis, Dkt. No. 2, is granted to the
extent that he is assessed an initial partial filing fee of
Eighteen Dollars and Fifteen Cents ($18.15). Mr. Bennett
shall have through September 10, 2018, in
which to pay this sum to the clerk of the district court.
the foregoing ruling, Mr. Bennett still owes the entire
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). However, only the initial partial filing fee
must be paid by the above deadline.
Screening of Complaint
Bennett is an inmate currently incarcerated at Wabash Valley
Correctional Facility (WVCF). Because he 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
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the Court must dismiss the
amended 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 amended 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 Mr. Bennett's 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).
allegations in Mr. Bennett's complaint may be summarized
as follows. Mr. Bennett was convicted and sanctioned
following a prison disciplinary proceeding. Mr. Bennett
challenged his conviction through the available channels in
the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC). After his
appeals were denied, Mr. Bennett filed a petition for a writ
of habeas corpus in this Court. After he filed his petition,
but before this Court ruled on it, the IDOC vacated Mr.
Bennett's disciplinary conviction and sanctions. The
Court granted the warden's motion to dismiss Mr.
Bennett's habeas petition as moot and set the matter for
rehearing, and the case was dismissed without prejudice.
Bennett now brings this suit for damages against Defendant
Brown, the warden at WVCF, and Defendant Little, the IDOC
official who vacated his conviction and set the matter for
rehearing. Mr. Bennett alleges that the defendants violated
his due process rights by vacating his ...