Madison - St. Clair Record

Friday, August 23, 2019

Prisoner must still pay court fees for dismissed lawsuit

By Angela Underwood | Apr 21, 2017

BENTON — A prisoner who saw his case against a medical center dismissed has been ordered to pay the suit filing fee from his prison trust.

Plaintiff Michael F. Disch, a prisoner at the U.S. penitentiary in Marion who pled guilty in 2012 to sending death threats and an anthrax hoax to Senior Judge Larry J. McKinney, who presides in a federal court in Terre Haute, Indiana, had his suit against Heartland Regional Medical Center dismissed without prejudice but still owes $400 to the court for attempting to sue.

The amount due by Disch, who was sentenced to more than nine years for his crime, must come from the agency of his custody, which is mandated to remove the emolument due from the prisoner’s trust fund.

“If he does not have $400.00 in his account, the agency must send an initial payment of 20 percent of the balance or the average balance during the past six months, whichever amount is higher,” reads the April 3 order that names Heartland Regional Medical Center as a defendant along with four individuals.

“This obligation continues regardless of the suit,” according to the order ruled by Judge Phil Gilbert of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. Subsequently, Disch “shall make monthly payments of 20% of the preceding month's income credited to Plaintiff's prison trust fund account until the $400.00 filing fee is paid in full.”

USP Marion, a medium security prison adjacent to a minimum satellite camp, must forward all payments to the court clerk every time Disch’s trust fund surpasses $10.00 until the entire $400 filing fee is paid in full.

Disch, who has already served five years of his sentence, has 30 days to the date of entry to appeal the dismissal without prejudice. All other pending motions were denied as moot, according to the order.

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U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois