United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CATHERINE D. PERRY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon plaintiff Jason Christopher
Richter's filing of an amended complaint. For the reasons
stated below, I will allow plaintiff the opportunity to
submit a second amended complaint.
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In his
original complaint, he named the St. Louis City Jail and the
MSI Workhouse as defendants, and sought monetary relief. He
alleged he fractured his foot, and was denied medical
treatment. Upon initial review, I noted that the complaint
was subject to dismissal because neither defendant was an
entity subject to suit under § 1983, and allowed
plaintiff the opportunity to submit an amended complaint. I
clearly instructed him that he was required to allege facts
showing how each defendant he named was directly involved in
or personally responsible for violating his constitutional
rights. Plaintiff timely filed an amended complaint, which I
now review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
Standard on Initial Review
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. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2). A pleading that offers “labels and
conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action” is insufficient, as is a
pleading that tenders bare assertions devoid of
“further factual enhancement.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
conducting initial review pursuant to § 1915(e)(2), the
Court must accept as true the allegations in the complaint,
and must give the complaint the benefit of a liberal
construction. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520
(1972). However, the tenet that a court must accept the
allegations as true does not apply to legal conclusions,
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, and affording a pro
se complaint the benefit of a liberal construction does
not mean that procedural rules in ordinary civil litigation
must be interpreted so as to excuse mistakes by those who
proceed without counsel. See McNeil v. U.S., 508
U.S. 106, 113 (1993). Even pro se complaints are
required to allege facts which, if true, state a claim for
relief as a matter of law. Martin v. Aubuchon, 623
F.2d 1282, 1286 (8th Cir. 1980); see also Stone v.
Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914-15 (8th Cir. 2004) (federal
courts are not required to “assume facts that are not
alleged, just because an additional factual allegation would
have formed a stronger complaint”).
amended complaint, plaintiff names Dale Glass, Leonard
Edwards, Tonya Harry, Gerome Fields, Scott Weber, and Alexis
Lee Silshe in their official and individual capacities.
However, plaintiff fails to allege that any named defendant
personally participated in or was directly responsible for
any alleged deprivation of rights. Instead, he alleges that
he suffered a foot fracture, and that the Workhouse and
unnamed people denied him treatment and placed him in
segregation. He then lists the defendants' names, and
states that they are liable to him because they failed to
ensure he was treated humanely, and allowed the Workhouse to
“act in neglect, malpractice and racism” in
violation of his constitutional rights. (Docket No. 6 at 5).
amended complaint is subject to dismissal because plaintiff
fails to allege that any defendant personally participated in
or was directly responsible for any alleged deprivation of
rights. As I previously explained to plaintiff, liability
under § 1983 requires a causal link to, and direct
responsibility for, the alleged deprivation of rights.
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 him). Plaintiff appears to claim that the defendants
are liable to him because they hold supervisory or other
authoritative positions. Such claims are not cognizable in
§ 1983 actions. See Boyd v. Knox, 47 F.3d 966,
968 (8th Cir. 1995) (the theory of respondeat
superior is inapplicable in § 1983 claims).
consideration of plaintiff's pro se status, I
will permit him the opportunity to submit a second amended
complaint. Plaintiff is warned that the second amended
complaint will replace his prior pleadings, and it therefore
must include all claims plaintiff wishes to bring.
E.g., In re Wireless Telephone Federal Cost
Recovery Fees Litigation, 396 F.3d 922, 928 (8th Cir.
2005). Plaintiff must submit the second amended complaint on
a court-provided form, and must follow Rules 8 and 10 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
“Caption” section of the second amended
complaint, plaintiff must write the first and last name, to
the extent he knows it, of each defendant he wishes to sue.
Plaintiff should also indicate whether he intends to sue each
defendant in his or her individual capacity, official
capacity, or both. In the “Statement of Claim”
section, plaintiff should begin by writing the first
defendant's name. In separate, numbered paragraphs under
that name, plaintiff should: (1) write a short and plain
statement of the facts supporting his claim against that
defendant; and (2) state what constitutional or federal
statutory right(s), to the extent he knows it, that defendant
violated. If plaintiff is suing more than one defendant, he
should do the same thing for each one, separately writing
each individual defendant's name and, under that name, in
numbered paragraphs, the factual allegations specific to that
particular defendant and the right(s) that defendant violated
Plaintiffs failure to make specific and actionable
allegations against any defendant will result in that
defendant's dismissal from this case
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff shall submit a second
amended complaint on a court-provided form no later than
twenty-one (21) days from the date of this Memorandum and
FURTHER ORDERED that the Court shall mail to plaintiff a copy
of the Court's ...