United States District Court, D. Montana, Helena Division
WAYNE G. WOODS, Plaintiff,
LAWRENCE COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY OFFICE, LAWRENCE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, and LAWRENCE COUNTY CLERK OF COURT, Defendants.
ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF UNITED
STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Johnston, United States Magistrate Judge
November 17, 2017, Plaintiff Wayne Woods, a prisoner
proceeding without counsel, filed a Complaint (Doc. 1) but
did not pay the $400.00 filing fee as required by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1914(a) or file a motion to proceed in forma pauperis
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. On June 19, 2018, the Court
ordered Mr. Woods to either pay the filing fee or submit a
motion to proceed in forma pauperis within 30 days. (Doc. 3.)
Mr. Woods failed to timely respond and the case was closed on
August 2, 2018. (Doc. 4.) On August 8, 2018, Mr. Woods filed
a motion to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 5.) Accordingly,
the Court will reopen this case. The motion to proceed in
forma pauperis will be granted but the Complaint fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted and should be
MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS
Woods's Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis is sufficient
to make the showing required by 28 U.S.C. §1915(a) (Doc.
5) and the request to proceed in forma pauperis will be
granted. Because he is incarcerated, Mr. Woods must pay the
$350.00 statutory filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
The initial partial filing fee is waived and Mr. Woods may
proceed with the case. See Bruce v. Samuels, 136
S.Ct. 627, 629 (2016)(“the initial partial filing fee
may not be exacted if the prisoner has no means to pay it,
§ 1915(b)(4)”). Mr. Woods will be required to pay
the fee in installments and make monthly payments of 20% of
the preceding month's income credited to his prison trust
account. The percentage is set by statute and cannot be
altered. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). Mr. Woods must make
these monthly filing-fee payments simultaneously with the
payments required in any other cases he has filed.
Id. By separate order, the Court will direct the
facility where Mr. Woods is held to forward payments from Mr.
Woods's account to the Clerk of Court each time the
account balance exceeds $10.00, until the filing fee is paid
in full. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
Woods is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel. He is
currently incarcerated at Montana State Prison. He names the
Lawrence County State's Attorney Office, the Lawrence
County Sheriff's Office and the Lawrence County Clerk of
Court as Defendants. (Complaint, Doc. 1 at 1, 4-5.)
Woods files this action under the Freedom of Information Act
to compel Defendants to provide him with evidence and other
documents from his 1983 criminal case in Lawrence County,
Woods is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis so the Court
must review his Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 and
§ 1915A. Sections 1915A(b) and 1915(e)(2)(B) require the
Court to dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis and/or
by a prisoner against a governmental defendant before it is
served if it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. A
complaint is frivolous if it “lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). “A case is
malicious if it was filed with the intention or desire to
harm another.” Andrews v. King, 398 F.3d 1113,
1121 (9th Cir. 2005). A complaint fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted if a plaintiff fails to allege
the “grounds” of his “entitlement to
relief.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quotation omitted).
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a
complaint “that states a claim for relief must contain
. . . a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the [plaintiff] is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2). That is, a complaint must “contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quotations omitted). A
complaint's allegations must cross “the line from
conceivable to plausible.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
is a two-step procedure to determine whether a
complaint's allegations cross that line. See
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556; Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662. First, the Court must identify “the allegations in
the complaint that are not entitled to the assumption of
truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679, 680. Factual
allegations are not entitled to the assumption of truth if
they are “merely consistent with liability, ” or
“amount to nothing more than a ‘formulaic
recitation of the elements' of a constitutional”
claim. Id. at 679, 681. A complaint stops ...