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Jones v. State

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

June 21, 2019

RAFIQ JONES, Plaintiff,
v.
State of Ohio, et al., Defendants.

          George C. Smith Judge.

          ORDER and REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          CHELSEY M. VASCURA UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, Rafiq Jones, a state inmate who is proceeding without the assistance of counsel, brings this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief against a the State of Ohio, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (“ODRC”), the ODRC Director, and Officer Taylor Graves, asserting Eighth Amendment claims arising from an incident that occurred while he was incarcerated at Lorain Correctional Institution (“LCI”). This matter is before the Court for the initial screen of Plaintiff's Complaint under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A to identify cognizable claims and to recommend dismissal of Plaintiff's Complaint, or any portion of it, which is frivolous, 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. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Having performed the initial screen, for the reasons that follow, it is RECOMMENDED that the Court DISMISS Plaintiff's claims against the State of Ohio, ODRC, and the ODRC Director and TRANSFER this action to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio Eastern Division at Cleveland.

         This matter is also before the Court for consideration of Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1) and (2), which is GRANTED. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff is required to pay the full amount of the Court's $350 filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Plaintiff's certified trust fund statements reveal that he currently possesses $11.27 in his prison account, which is insufficient to pay the filing fee.

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1), the custodian of Plaintiff's inmate trust accounts (Inmate Id. Number A700587) at Belmont Correctional Institution is DIRECTED to submit to the Clerk of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio as an initial partial payment, 20% of the greater of either the average monthly deposits to the inmate trust account or the average monthly balance in the inmate trust account, for the six-months immediately preceding the filing of the Complaint.

         After full payment of the initial, partial filing fee, the custodian shall submit 20% of the inmate's preceding monthly income credited to the account, but only when the amount in the account exceeds $10.00 until the full fee of $350.00 has been paid to the Clerk of this Court. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). See McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601 (6th Cir. 1997).

         Checks should be made payable to: Clerk, United States District Court. The checks should be sent to:

Prisoner Accounts Receivable 260 U.S. Courthouse 85 Marconi Boulevard Columbus, Ohio 43215

         The prisoner's name and this case number must be included on each check.

         It is ORDERED that Plaintiff be allowed to prosecute his action without prepayment of fees or costs and that judicial officers who render services in this action shall do so as if the costs had been prepaid. The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to mail a copy of this Order to Plaintiff and the prison cashier's office. The Clerk is further DIRECTED to forward a copy of this Order to the Court's financial office in Columbus.

         I.

         Congress enacted 28 U.S.C. § 1915, the federal in forma pauperis statute, seeking to “lower judicial access barriers to the indigent.” Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992).

         In doing so, however, “Congress recognized that ‘a litigant whose filing fees and court costs are assumed by the public, unlike a paying litigant, lacks an economic incentive to refrain from filing frivolous, malicious, or repetitive lawsuits.'” Id. at 31 (quoting Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989)). To address this concern, Congress included subsection (e) as part of the statute, which provides in pertinent part:

(2) Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any ...

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