United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CATHERINE D. PERRY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a prisoner currently incarcerated at Algoa Correctional
Center seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this civil
action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Having
reviewed plaintiff's financial information, the Court
assesses a partial initial filing fee of $17.49, which is
twenty percent of his average monthly deposit. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(b).
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.
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging
violations of his civil rights during his incarceration at
the St. Louis City Justice Center. Specifically, plaintiff
asserts that on October 21, 2014, correctional officer Sonya
White was escorting him while he was handcuffed from his cell
through his dorm. He states that defendant White began to
curse at him and punch at him in the head, over and over, and
eventually she maced him. Plaintiff claims that he was
handcuffed the entire time.
states that in November of 2014 he was charged with assault
on a correctional officer. Although he does not state for
certain in his complaint, he leads the Court to believe the
correctional officer he was charged with assaulting was Sonya
White. Plaintiff states that the charges against him were
dropped after “she” testified at his trial.
has not indicated in his complaint the relief he is seeking
in this action.
claim against the St. Louis City Justice Center is legally
frivolous because it cannot be sued. 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.”).
as currently pled, plaintiff's claim for excessive force
against defendant White does not state a claim for relief
because plaintiff has not indicated the capacity under which
he is suing defendant White.
“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, in this case, the City of St. Louis. Will v.
Michigan Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71
(1989). To state a claim against the City of St. Louis,
plaintiff must allege that a policy or custom of the City of
St. Louis was 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 the City
of St. Louis 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
plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court will allow
plaintiff to file an amended complaint on a Court form.
Plaintiff shall have thirty (30) days from the date of this
Order to file an amended complaint ...