United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ALLISON D. BURROUGHS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
reasons set forth below, the Court (1) grants the
plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis,
(2) assesses plaintiff an obligation to make monthly payments
towards the filing fee pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(b)(2), and (3) directs him to show cause in writing why
this action should not be dismissed, or, in the alternative,
to file an amended complaint.
April 16, 2018, Jason Hammel (“plaintiff” or
“Hammel”), now in custody at MCI Cedar Junction,
filed his pro se complaint while in custody of the
Norfolk County Sheriff. See Complaint
(“Compl.”), Dkt. No. 1.
the complaint was filed without payment of the filing fee,
Hammel was granted additional time either to pay the fee or
file a request to proceed in forma pauperis.
See 06/25/2018 Procedural Order, Dkt. No. 5. Now
before the Court are Hammel's Application to Proceed in
District Court without Prepaying Fees or Costs and his prison
account statement. See Dkt. Nos. 6, 7.
complaint consists of a preprinted complaint form (AO Pro Se
14) and 53 pages of documents with additional allegations and
exhibits. See Compl. Plaintiffs complaint concerns
events that occurred while Hammel was in the custody of the
Norfolk County Sheriff and his claims are brought pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Americans with Disabilities Act
(“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12132. Id. at
¶¶ II(B), IV(C). The complaint names the following
twelve defendants: (1) the Norfolk County District
Attorneys' Office; (2) ADA Danielle Piccarini; (3) ADA
Lisa Beatty; (4) Sheriff Michael Bellotti; (5) Dr. Patricia
Pickett; (6) Superintendent Gerard Horgan; (7) Assistant
Deputy Superintendent Danielle Boomhower; (8) County of
Norfolk; (9) Town of Stoughton, town manager; (10) Stoughton
Police Department; (11) Stoughton District Court; and (12)
Sandra Lee Hammel. Id. at ¶¶ I(B).
as can be gleaned from the documents attached to plaintiffs
complaint, Hammel seeks monetary damages due to the failure
of the defendants to provide him “with adequate mental
health counseling and medications.” See Dkt.
No. 1-1, p. 8. Hammel was “on permanent disability for
PTSD, Depression, and Anxiety and was in active treatment up
until [his] arrest.” Id. In May 2016, Hammel
arrived at the Norfolk County Correctional Center
(“NCCC”) and since August 2017 has spent much of
his time in administrative segregation or placed with a
cellmate which was contraindicated by his mental health
condition. Id. at p. 9. He complains of additional
psychological injury and disciplinary sanctions due to a
classification incident involving another inmate in December
2017. Id. at p. 6. Additionally, Hammel contends
that despite his physical and mental disabilities, he was
criminally prosecuted (1) without proper investigation of
alleged false statements made by Sandra Lee Hammel; (2)
despite the repeated omission of exculpatory evidence; and
(3) without regard to the “real facts.”
Id. at p. 5.
IN FORMA PAUPERIS
review of Hammel's motion for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis, the Court concludes that he is without
income or assets to pay the $400.00 filing fee. The motion is
therefore granted. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2),
plaintiff is obligated to make monthly payments of 20 percent
of the preceding month's income credited to his account
until the statutory filing fee has been paid in full.
SCREENING OF THE ACTION
prisoner plaintiff seeks to file a complaint without
prepayment of the filing fee, summonses do not issue until
the Court reviews the complaint and determines that it
satisfies the substantive requirements of 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915, 1915A. These provisions authorize federal
courts to dismiss a complaint if the claims therein lack an
arguable basis in law or in fact, fail to state a claim on
which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief against
a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id.
examining the sufficiency of the pleadings, the court
considers whether the plaintiff has pled “enough facts
to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007). “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) (citation omitted).
plaintiff's complaint need not provide an exhaustive
factual account, only “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 8(d)(1) imposes the additional pleading requirement
that “[e]ach allegation must be simple, concise and
direct.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(d)(1). “The purpose of a
clear and distinct pleading is to give defendants fair notice
of the claims and their basis as well as to provide an
opportunity for a cogent answer and defense.” See
Belanger v. BNY Mellon Asset Management, No.
15-cv-10198-ADB, 2015 WL 3407827 (D. Mass. May 27, 2015).
conducting this review of the complaint, a pro se
plaintiff such as Hammel is entitled to a liberal reading of
his allegations, even when such allegations are inartfully
pled. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21
(1972); Rodi v. New Eng. Sch. of Law, 389 F.3d 5, 13
(1st Cir. 2004). A pro se litigant's obligation
to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure includes
the requirement that a complaint complies with the
“short and plain statement” ...