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Patterson v. Earls

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

November 14, 2016

ISAAC PATTERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
ALAN EARLS, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HENRY EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES 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 $25, which is twenty percent of his average monthly deposit. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). Additionally, the complaint is dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).

         Standard of Review

         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, 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.

         When 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.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff brings this action against Alan Earls, Deputy Division Director, Division of Adult Institutions; Troy Steele, Warden, Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Correctional Center (ERDCC); and Douglas Prudden, Warden, Tipton Correctional Center (TCC).

         While plaintiff was in custody at ERDCC, he had a seizure. He says a correctional officer assaulted him while he was seizing. He was taken to the hospital. When he returned to ERDCC he was placed in administrative segregation. He was written up for drug use and assaulting prison staff.

         He was ordered to submit a blood sample, and he refused. He complains that his blood was taken involuntarily.

         He was later transferred to TCC, where he had another seizure. He says he was not given enough seizure medicine.

         According to his exhibits, defendants only involvement was to deny his grievances.

         Discussion

         “Liability 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.”); George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 609 (7th Cir. 2007) (“Only persons who cause or participate in the [constitutional] violations are responsible. Ruling against a prisoner on an administrative complaint does not cause or contribute to the violation.”). As a result, the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

         Additionally, plaintiff sues defendants in their official capacities. Naming a government official in his or her official capacity is the equivalent of naming the government entity that employs the official, in this case the State of Missouri. Will v. Michigan Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989). “[N]either a State nor its officials acting in their official capacity are ...


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