United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE, 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
plaintiffs financial information, the Court assesses a
partial initial filing fee of $9.62. Additionally, this action
is dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).
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, 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.
reviewing a complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the
Court accepts the well-pled facts as true. Furthermore, the
Court liberally construes the allegations.
is an inmate at the St. Louis Medium Security Institution
("MSI"). He sues Mayor Francis G. Slay, Jeffrey
Carson and Jerome Fields.
claims that MSI has no legal library and he cannot proceed
pro se for his criminal trial because he is unable to do
legal research on his claims. Plaintiff admits, however, that
he has been assigned a public defender in his criminal
seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief.
brings this action against defendants in their official
capacities. See Egerdahl v. Hibbing Community
College, 72 F.3d 615, 619 (8th Cir. 1995) (where a
complaint is silent about a defendant's capacity, a Court
must interpret the complaint as including official-capacity
claims); Nix v. Norman, 879 F.2d 429, 431 (8th Cir.
1989). Official-capacity suits are tantamount to suits
brought directly against the public entity of which the
official is an agent. Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S.
159, 166 (1985). To state a claim against a public entity or
a government official in his or her official capacity, a
plaintiff must allege that a policy or custom of the public
entity was responsible for the alleged constitutional
violation. Brandon v. Holt, 469 U.S. 464, 473
(1985); Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436
U.S. 658, 690-91 (1978). Because plaintiff does not claim
that a public entity's policy or custom was responsible
for the alleged constitutional violations, the complaint
fails to state a claim or cause of action under § 1983
as to defendants in their official capacities. As a result,
these defendants must be dismissed.
additional grounds for dismissing this action, the Court
finds that plaintiffs allegations do not rise to the level of
a constitutional violation and are legally frivolous.
Plaintiffs claim that he was denied access to the law
library, and hence access to the courts, is legally
frivolous, because he has alleged no facts indicating that he
was thereby prejudiced. See Smith v. Boyd, 945 F.2d
1041, 1043 (8th Cir. 1991); Grady v. Wilken, 735
F.2d 303, 306 (8th Cir. 1984).
state a claim [for denial of meaningful access to the
courts], inmates must assert that they suffered an actual
injury to pending or contemplated legal claims."
Myers v. Hundley, 101 F.3d 542, 544 (8th Cir. 1996).
Plaintiff has failed to allege that he has suffered an actual
injury to his criminal action in state court. And although he
has alleged that he does not "trust" his public
defender, at this time he has appointed counsel in state
court, as verified on Missouri Case. Net. Thus, plaintiff is
adequately represented in his criminal matter. See State
v. Moore, Case No. 1622-CR00169-01 (22nd
extent plaintiff has attempted to allege an equal protection
claim by stating that one jail in St. Louis City has some
legal research capability, while another jail does not, he
has failed to do so. A plaintiff must "allege and prove
something more than different treatment by government
officials" to state an equal protection claim. Batra
v. Bd. of Regents of Univ. of Nebraska,79 F.3d 717, 721
(8th Cir. 1996). "[T]he key requirement is that
plaintiff allege and prove unlawful, purposeful
discrimination." Id. at 722; see Albright
v. Oliver,975 F.2d 343, 348 (7th Cir. 1992) ("you
must be singled out because of your membership in the class,
and not just be the random victim of governmental
incompetence"), aff'd on other grounds, 510
U.S. 266 (1994); Booher v. United States Postal
Serv.,843 F.2d 943, 944 (6th Cir.1988) ("[t]he
equal protection concept does not duplicate common law tort
liability by conflating all persons not injured into a
preferred class"); Joyce v. Mavromatis, 783