United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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 $34, which is twenty percent of
his average monthly deposit. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(b). Additionally, the Court will order plaintiff to
submit an amended complaint.
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, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009). A plaintiff must demonstrate a
plausible claim for relief, which is more than a “mere
possibility of misconduct.” Id. at 679.
“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.” Id. at 678. Determining
whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is]
a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to
draw on its judicial experience and common sense.
Id. at 679.
brings this action for deliberate indifference to his serious
medical needs. In the amended complaint, plaintiff names the
Dunklin County Justice Department, Nicole Green, and Bob
Holder as defendants. He seeks injunctive and monetary
fractured bones in his hand on June 12, 2016. He notified
defendant Green, who is the Jail Supervisor, and she sent him
to see a nurse. He says he was told that the U.S.
Marshals Service had to approve his request for medical
treatment. On June 30, defendant Holder, the Dunklin County
Sheriff, sent plaintiff to see a doctor. The doctor
took an X-ray and told plaintiff he needed treatment. The
doctor explained that too much time had elapsed between the
injury and the X-ray for regular treatment; plaintiff’s
hand would have to be re-fractured in order to set correctly.
complaint is frivolous against the Dunklin County Justice
Department because municipal departments cannot be held
liable under § 1983. Ketchum v. City of West
Memphis, Ark., 974 F.2d 81, 82 (1992).
did not specify whether he is suing defendants in their
official or individual capacities. Where a “complaint
is silent about the capacity in which [plaintiff] is suing
defendant, [a district court must] interpret the complaint as
including only official-capacity claims.” Egerdahl
v. Hibbing Community College, 72 F.3d 615, 619 (8th Cir.
1995); 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, 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.
“[l]iability under § 1983 requires a causal link
to, and direct responsibility for, the alleged deprivation of
rights.” Madewell v. Roberts, 909 F.2d 1203,
1208 (8th Cir. 1990); see Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 676 (2009) (“Because vicarious liability is
inapplicable to Bivens and § 1983 suits, a
plaintiff must plead that each Government-official defendant,
through the official’s own individual actions, has
violated the Constitution.”); Camberos v.
Branstad, 73 F.3d 174, 176 (8th Cir. 1995) (“a
general responsibility for supervising the operations of a
prison is insufficient to establish the personal involvement
required to support liability.”). In the amended
complaint, plaintiff has not explained how defendants Green
or Holder caused the delay in receiving medical care. He only
alleges that they sent him to get medical treatment. This is
insufficient to state a claim for relief under § 1983.
plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court will allow
plaintiff 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). Any
claims from the original complaint that are not included in
the amended complaint will be considered abandoned
Id. Plaintiff must allege how each and every
defendant is directly responsible for the alleged harm. In
order to sue defendants in their individual capacities,
plaintiff must specifically say so in the complaint If
plaintiff fails to sue defendants in their individual
capacities, this action may be subject to dismissal
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion to proceed in
forma pauperis [ECF No 7] is GRANTED
FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiff must pay an initial filing
fee of $34 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