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Brownlee v. Perry County Sheriffs Department

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

May 28, 2015

DARNELL BROWNLEE, Plaintiff,
v.
PERRY COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT, 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 $1.00. See Henderson v. Norris, 129 F.3d 481, 484 (8th Cir. 1997) (when a prisoner is unable to provide the Court with a certified copy of his prison account statement, the Court should assess an amount "that is reasonable, based on whatever information the court has about the prisoner's finances.").

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 alleges that he was treated with excessive force during an arrest in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. He names only the Perry County Sheriff's Department as defendant.

The complaint is legally frivolous because the Sheriff's Department cannot be sued. Ketchum v. City of West Memphis, Ark., 974 F.2d 81, 82 (1992) (police departments are not suable entities because they are subdivision of city government).

Because plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court will allow him to file an amended complaint. Plaintiff is warned that the filing of an amended complaint replaces the original complaint, and so he must include each and every one of his claims in the amended complaint. E.g., In re Wireless Telephone Federal Cost Recovery Fees Litigation, 396 F.3d 922, 928 (8th Cir. 2005). Plaintiff must name as defendants the individual officers who he believes violated his constitutional rights in order for this case to proceed. In order to sue defendants in their individual capacities, plaintiff must specifically say so in the complaint.

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 $1.00 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 plaintiff has until June 29, 2015, to file an amended complaint as set forth in this Order. Failure to comply with this Order will result in the dismissal of this case without further proceedings.


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