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Parks v. Black

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

May 11, 2017

KYLE MAURICE PARKS, Plaintiff,
v.
MATTHEW BLACK, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          RONNIE L. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, a prisoner currently incarcerated at Saint Genevieve County Detention Center, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this civil action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Having reviewed plaintiffs financial information, the Court assesses a partial initial filing fee of $19.50, which is twenty percent of his average monthly deposit. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b).

         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, who is currently incarcerated at Saint Genevieve Detention Center, brings this action pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), [1] alleging violations of his civil rights. He brings this action against nine defendants: Detective Matthew Black; United States Attorney Richard G. Callahan; Assistant United States Attorney Howard Marcus; Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Winfield; Sergeant Adam Kavanagh; Paul Yadlosky; John Halliday; Mike Slaughter; and Jared Queen.

         On January 12, 2017, plaintiff was found guilty by a jury trial of: (1) one count of transportation of a minor to engage in a commercial sex act, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1591(a)(1), 1591(b)(2); (2) two counts of attempted transportation of a minor to engage in a commercial sex act, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1591(a)(1), 1591(b)(2); and (3) six counts of transportation with intent to engage in prostitution, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2421(a). See United States v. Parks, 4:15CR553 JAR (E.D.Mo.). Plaintiff was sentenced to a total term of 300 months' imprisonment. Id.

         In the "Statement of Claim" in the instant complaint, plaintiff seemingly refers to his criminal conviction in some manner when he states, "Detective Matthew Black planted evidence in my van on the date of December 4, 2015. Richard G. Callahan was informed and did nothing." For each of the additional defendants he states that they "were informed" or "knew evidence was planted" and "did nothing."

         Discussion

         Plaintiffs allegations fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted as stated. He has failed to articulate any factual allegations in his complaint relative to each of the individual defendants. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. In order to state a claim under either a Bivens or § 1983 action, plaintiff must articulate, for each individual defendant, exactly how that person violated his Constitutional rights.[2]

         "Liability under § 1983 requires a causal link to, and direct responsibility for, the alleged deprivation of rights." See Madewell v. Roberts, 909 F.2d 1203, 1208 (8th Cir. 1990); see also Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1338 (8th Cir. 1985) (claim not cognizable under § 1983 where plaintiff fails to allege defendant was personally involved in or directly responsible for incidents that injured plaintiff); Boyd v. Knox, Al F.3d 966, 968 (8th Cir. 1995) (respondeat superior theory inapplicable in § 1983 suits).

         Because plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court will allow plaintiff to file an amended complaint on the Court's form. Plaintiff has thirty (30) days from the date of this Order to file an amended complaint in accordance with the specific instructions set forth here. All claims in the action must be included in one, centralized complaint form. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 7(a)(1), 8(a).

         Additionally, plaintiff is warned that the filing of an amended complaint replaces the original complaint and all previously-filed pleadings, so plaintiff must include each and every one of the claims he wishes to pursue in the amended complaint. See, e.g., In re Wireless Telephone Federal Cost Recovery Fees Litigation, 396 F.3d 922, 928 (8th Cir. 2005). Any claims from the original complaint, supplements, and/or pleadings that are not included in the amended complaint will be deemed abandoned and will not be considered. Id. The allegations in the complaint must show how each and every defendant is directly responsible for the alleged harms. If plaintiff wishes to sue defendants in their individual capacities, plaintiff must specifically say so in the amended complaint. If plaintiff fails to sue defendants in their individual capacities, this action may be subject to dismissal.

         All of plaintiffs claims should be clearly set forth in the "Statement of Claim." If plaintiff fails to file an amended complaint on the Court's form within thirty (30) days and in compliance with the Court's instructions, the Court will ...


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