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Moore v. City of St. Louis

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

July 14, 2017

EDWARD ALLEN MOORE, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF ST. LOUIS, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JOHN A. ROSS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This action is before the Court on plaintiffs motion for temporary restraining order [Doc. #2], as well as plaintiffs renewed motion for temporary restraining order [Doc. #9], brought pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65.

         The Court conducted a hearing on this matter on July 13, 2017. Plaintiff appeared pro se and represented himself. The City of St. Louis was represented by the City Counselor's Office. Evidence was presented and testimony was taken.

         Based on the evidence presented and the arguments of the parties, Plaintiffs motions for temporary restraining order were denied for the reasons stated on the record. The Court supplements those reasons with the following written findings.

         I. Background and Hearing Information

         Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed this action on July 5, 2017, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of his civil rights. In his original complaint [Doc. #1], plaintiff named the following as defendants in this action: the City of St. Louis; St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson; Biddle House Opportunity Center; St. Patrick Center; Peter and Paul Community Services, Inc.; Biddle House Staff Person Keneesha Unknown; Biddle House Staff Person Emma Unknown; and Six John Doe Biddle House Staff Persons.[1]

         Plaintiff sought leave to proceed in forma pauperis, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 [Doc. #4], and with the filing of his original complaint, plaintiff filed a motion for temporary restraining order [Doc. #2] and a motion for preliminary injunction [Doc. #6].

         In his originally-filed complaint, as well as his motions for injunctive relief, plaintiff asserted that he was a homeless resident of the City of St. Louis and he had sought services from the Biddle House, a facility owned by the City of St. Louis which purportedly "serves the needs of the homeless and is staffed by St. Patrick Center" and also serviced by Peter and Paul Community Services, Inc.

         Plaintiff stated in his complaint that in June of 2017, he was given a "routing" slip at Biddle House, that allowed him to take showers, wash his clothes and obtain meals. Plaintiff stated that after he became a "critic" of Biddle House, Peter and Paul Community Services, Inc. and St. Patrick Center, employees of Biddle House began to retaliate against him by refusing him showers, laundry services and meals.

         On July 5, 2017, when he hand-filed his original complaint, plaintiff sought an ex parte hearing on his temporary restraining order, but he was asked by the Court to notify defendants and/or their counsel of his intent to seek a hearing prior to being given a hearing date.

         On July 10, 2017, plaintiff filed an amended complaint in this action [Doc. #7], seeking to add to his jurisdictional basis for bringing the present suit. In his amended complaint, plaintiff also added a claim that he was being denied an overnight bed by Biddle House. All of his other claims remained substantially the same.

         On July 13, 2017, plaintiff filed a second amended complaint [Doc. #8], as well as a renewed motion for temporary restraining order [Doc. #9] and a renewed motion for preliminary injunction [Doc. #11]. In his second amended complaint, plaintiff states that Biddle House is refusing to renew his routing slip[2], effectively cutting him off from every service offered by Biddle House, including food, laundry, showers and a nightly bed. When he came to the Court's front counter to file his second amended complaint, plaintiff stated that he had contacted a lawyer on behalf of the City of St. Louis about his request for an emergency hearing, and he claimed that he had no other means to obtain overnight accommodations.[3]

         As a result of plaintiff s allegations in his renewed motion for temporary restraining order, on July 13, 2017, the Court held an emergency hearing on the motion for temporary restraining [Doc. #2] order and the renewed motion for restraining order [Doc #9]. Present at the hearing for the City of St. Louis was Assistant City Counselor, Tony Relys. Plaintiff represented himself at the hearing and did not present any witnesses on his own behalf. Mr. Relys submitted the testimony of Mr. Eddie Roth, Special Assistant to the Mayor of St. Louis City; although he testified that he was the former Director of Human Services for the City of St. Louis.

         Plaintiff testified under oath that he was a homeless resident of the City of St. Louis who had been using the services of Biddle House. He stated that it was his belief that after he criticized the employees of Biddle House, as well as St. Patrick's Center on certain media websites, as well as on the Mayor's website and the City's website, that he was treated by Biddle House in a retaliatory manner. He claimed that he was no longer being offered laundry services at Biddle House, nor being allowed to take a shower or being given meals. Plaintiff offered as evidence an expired routing slip showing, purportedly, that he would no longer be eligible for services at Biddle House. When questioned, plaintiff admitted that his main issues concentrated on the fact that he believed he was being denied showers and the ability to wash clothes during the week of July 13, 2017. He claimed he was still on a list for an overnight bed at Biddle House, but he was not sure when his name would move to the top of the list. Plaintiff pointed to an expired "routing slip" as the cause of his difficulty in obtaining showers and laundry services; however, he insisted he was being denied services due to retaliation. Nonetheless, he did not articulate one particular staff member who he believed had seen his media posts and denied him services as a result of the posts. Plaintiff stated that he did not mind not having an overnight bed because he could "lay his head anywhere." Mr. Roth also testified under oath. He explained that he is presently a special assistant to the ...


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