United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
LUKE C. CODY, Plaintiff,
ST. LOUIS COUNTY JUSTICE CENTER, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. BODENHAUSEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff, Luke
Cody, an inmate at St. Louis County Justice Center, for leave
to commence this action without payment of the required
filing fee. For the reasons stated below, the Court finds
that plaintiff does not have sufficient funds to pay an
initial partial filing fee at this time. As such, no filing
fee will be assessed at this time. Furthermore, based upon a
review of the complaint, the Court finds that the Court will
appoint counsel, and counsel will be required to file an
amended complaint in this matter.
U.S.C. § 1915(e)
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court may dismiss a
complaint filed in forma pauperis if the action is frivolous,
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief. An action is frivolous if “it
lacks an arguable basis in either law or in fact.”
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328 (1989). An
action is malicious when it is undertaken for the purpose of
harassing litigants and not for the purpose of vindicating a
cognizable right. Spencer v. Rhodes, 656 F.Supp.
458, 461-63 (E.D. N.C. 1987), aff'd 826 F.2d
1059 (4th Cir. 1987).
determine whether an action fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted, the Court must engage in a two-step
inquiry. First, the Court must identify the allegations in
the complaint that are not entitled to the assumption of
truth. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1950-51
(2009). These include “legal conclusions” and
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action [that are] supported by mere conclusory
statements.” Id. at 1949. Second, the Court
must determine whether the complaint states a plausible claim
for relief. Id. at 1950-51. This is a
“context-specific task that requires the reviewing
court to draw on its judicial experience and common
sense.” Id. at 1950. The plaintiff is required
to plead facts that show more than the “mere
possibility of misconduct.” Id. The Court must
review the factual allegations in the complaint “to
determine if they plausibly suggest an entitlement to
relief.” Id. at 1951. When faced with
alternative explanations for the alleged misconduct, the
Court may exercise its judgment in determining whether
plaintiff's proffered conclusion is the most plausible or
whether it is more likely that no misconduct occurred.
Id. at 1950, 1951-52.
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging
violations of his civil rights. Named as the sole defendant
in this action is the St. Louis County Justice Center, a
non-suable entity. See Ketchum v. City of West
Memphis, Ark., 974 F.2d 81, 82 (8th Cir. 1992)
(departments or subdivisions of local government are
“not juridical entities suable as such.”).
asserts that he suffers from Hepatitis C and sleep apnea, and
he claims that he has sought medical assistance from the
doctors and nurses at the County Justice Center. Plaintiff
states that since he has been incarcerated at the Justice
Center he has not been given his liver medications or medical
assistance for his sleep apnea. Plaintiff additionally
alleges that he has been told by the medical personnel that
he will most likely be given medical treatment in December of
2016. However, plaintiff has evidence that he has been
charged for treatment for the past several months despite
never having received any medical treatment.
asserts that immediately prior to being incarcerated, he was
being treated by a liver specialist at St. Louis University
Medical Center who insisted he had to maintain his Hepatitis
C treatment in order to avoid liver cancer and/or liver
cirrhosis. Plaintiff states that he suffers from constant
abdominal pain and that his stomach is bloated without his
request for relief, plaintiff seeks to have his prison
account cleared of the negative balance, and he asks for free
medical treatment for his Hepatitis C and his sleep apnea.
noted above, at this time, plaintiff has not named a legally
suable defendant in his complaint. However, his claims for
deliberate indifference to his medical care, in violation of
the Eighth Amendment, are serious and troubling. See
Alberson v. Norris, 458 F.3d 762, 765-66 (8th Cir. 2006)
(A prison official's deliberate indifference to a
prisoner's serious medical needs constitutes cruel and
unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment.).
Therefore, the Court will appoint counsel in this matter and
allow plaintiff's counsel to amend his complaint.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed
in forma pauperis [Doc. #5] is GRANTED.
FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiff shall not be required to