United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
DOUGLAS E. DAYTON, Plaintiff,
RICHARD LISENBEE, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
E. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a prisoner, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this
civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Religious
Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000
(“RLUIPA”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-1. Having
reviewed plaintiff's financial information, the Court
assesses a partial initial filing fee of $10.00, which is
twenty percent of his average monthly deposit. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). Additionally, the Court will
partially dismiss the 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, 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.
times relevant to the complaint, plaintiff was detained at
the Phelps County jail. Plaintiff brings this action against
Richard Lisenbee, the sheriff of Phelps County, and Matt
Shults, a lieutenant at the Phelps County jail. In December
2016, after the filing of the complaint, plaintiff was
transferred to the Fulton Reception and Diagnostic Center.
alleges that the jail was very overcrowded. He complains that
the defendants did not provide any opportunity for the free
exercise of religion, that inmates were not allowed to go
outdoors, that there were not enough toilets, that some
inmates had to sleep on the floor, and that defendants
continued to add inmates after complaints were made about the
conditions. Plaintiff claims that the defendants violated his
rights under the First, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments and
under RLUIPA. Plaintiff sues defendants in their individual
and official capacities.
claims for injunctive and declaratory relief are moot because
he is no longer detained in the jail. See Gladson v. Iowa
Department of Corrections, 551 F.3d 825, 835 (8th
Cir.2009). As a result, these claims will be dismissed.
RLUIPA does not authorize individual-capacity claims against
prison officials. See Nelson v. Miller, 570 F.3d
868, 888-89 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing cases). While RLUIPA
allows official-capacity claims against prison officials, it
does not authorize monetary damages based on those claims.
See Van Wyhe v. Reisch, 581 F.3d 639, 655 (8th Cir.
2009). Therefore, plaintiff does not have a cause of action
constitutional claims asserted against the defendants in
their official capacities also fail. 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.
Therefore, plaintiff's official-capacity claims will be
plaintiff's individual-capacity constitutional claims for
monetary relief are not frivolous and will not be dismissed
at this time.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed