United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CATHERINE D. PERRY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this civil action
brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging
violations of his civil rights. After reviewing
plaintiff's financial affidavit, plaintiff's request
to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted. However,
plaintiff's complaint will be dismissed, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(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.
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging
violations of his civil rights. He has named the City of St.
Louis and the St. Louis City Police Department as defendants
in this action, as well as an individual police officer
identified as “Unknown CSCPO 11462.” Plaintiff
also seeks to add John Doe Police Officer as a defendant.
asserts that he was arrested on February 23, 2017 by
“Unknown CSCPO 11462” when the officer was
“doing a sweep” at 1148 Union Street in St.
Louis, Missouri. Plaintiff claims that he was searched, but
he was “clear for contraband, weapons and
warrants.” Plaintiff alleges that he did not give the
police consent to search his car; however, “my car was
parked, they took my car keys out of my pocket [and] towed my
car.” He claims he does not have the money to get his
car out of the towing facility. Plaintiff does not indicate
the reason for his arrest or what reason was given by
“CSCPO 11462” for the towing of his car.
states that while his hands were handcuffed, a store owner
came out of his store and told the police at the scene that
plaintiff should be arrested due to a verbal disagreement he
and plaintiff had a few days before. Plaintiff states that he
felt threatened due to the store owner's behavior. He
claims that he asked the officers at the scene to use the
restroom, but he was denied, and he urinated on himself.
claims that he did not resist arrest; however, plaintiff
asserts that his handcuffs were on too tight and his wrists
and elbows were scraped. Plaintiff also asserts that the
police removed his ID, his coat and his cell phone.
seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief in his request
outset, the Court notes that, in general, fictitious or
unknown parties may not be named as defendants in a civil
action. Phelps v. United States, 15 F.3d 735, 739
(8th Cir. 1994). An action may proceed against a party whose
name is unknown, however, if the complaint makes sufficiently
specific allegations to permit the identity of the party to
be ascertained after reasonable discovery. Munz v.
Parr, 758 F.2d 1254, 1257 (8th Cir. 1985).
case at hand, the complaint does not contain allegations
sufficiently specific to permit the identity of
“Unknown CSCPO 11462" or John Doe Police Officer
to be ascertained after reasonable discovery. Although
plaintiff has provided a number after “Unknown CSCPO,
” he has not identified what the number is in reference
to, or how this number would assist the Court in the
identification of the only named defendant in this lawsuit.
Moreover, as plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the
Court is charged with service of the complaint on defendant
on plaintiff's behalf. The Court cannot obtain service on
a defendant who is identified only as “Unknown CSCPO
11462” with no indication who this individual works
for, their last name, their work or home address, or some
other identifying information.
plaintiff's other “John Doe" defendants are
both unidentified and indeterminate in number. This is not
permissible. See Estate of Rosenberg v. Crandell, 56
F.3d 35, 37 (8th Cir. 1995) (suit naming “various other
John Does to be named when identified" not permissible).
As a result, the complaint ...