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Johnson v. Rodebaugh

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

April 28, 2015

CLYDE JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
MARK RODEBAUGH, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, Jr., District Judge.

Plaintiff, a prisoner, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Having reviewed plaintiff's financial information, the Court assesses a partial initial filing fee of $11.00, which is twenty percent of his average monthly deposit. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b).

Plaintiff says defendant Mark Rodebaugh, who is a detective with the St. Louis Police Department, falsely arrested him for burglary. He asserts that he has been wrongfully confined since July 2014 because of the charges. He says Rodebaugh persecuted him because he lived in an all-white neighborhood. He claims that Rodebaugh sent Department of Family Services agents to his home for false reasons, and he says that caused his wife to commit suicide. He also alleges that Rodebaugh brought "street walkers" to his home to purchase drugs, and that he told "victims to lie on rape of their children[], burglarys [sic] all on file."

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court is required to dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. To state a claim for relief under § 1983, a complaint must plead more than "legal conclusions" and "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action [that are] supported by mere conclusory statements." Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). A plaintiff must demonstrate a plausible claim for relief, which is more than a "mere possibility of misconduct."

Plaintiff brings this action against Rodebaugh in his official capacity. See Egerdahl v. Hibbing Community College , 72 F.3d 615, 619 (8th Cir. 1995) (where a complaint is silent about defendant's capacity, Court must interpret the pleading as including official-capacity claims); Nix v. Norman , 879 F.2d 429, 431 (8th Cir. 1989). Naming a government official in his or her official capacity is the equivalent of naming the government entity that employs the official. Will v. Michigan Dep't of State Police , 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989). To state a claim against a municipality or a government official in his or her official capacity, a plaintiff must allege that a policy or custom of the government entity is responsible for the alleged constitutional violation. Monell v. Dep't of Social Services , 436 U.S. 658, 690-91 (1978). The instant complaint does not contain any allegations that a policy or custom of a government entity was responsible for the alleged violations of plaintiff's constitutional rights. As a result, the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

Accordingly,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF No. 2] is GRANTED.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiff shall pay an initial filing fee of $11.00 within thirty (30) days of the date of this Order. Plaintiff is instructed to make his remittance payable to "Clerk, United States District Court, " and to include upon it: (1) his name; (2) his prison registration number; (3) the case number; and (4) that the remittance is for an original proceeding.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

An Order of Dismissal will accompany this Memorandum and Order.


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