United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROSS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a prisoner, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this
civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Having reviewed
plaintiffs financial information, the Court assesses a
partial initial filing fee of $1.00. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b); Henderson v. Norris, 129 F.3d
48l(8th Cir. 1997). Additionally, after review of the
complaint, the Court will order the Clerk to serve process on
defendants Shannon Thompson, Kevin Snow, and Unknown Barton.
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.
is detained in the Washington County Jail (the
"Jail"). He suffers from a heart condition for
which he requires regular medication. Upon his arrival at the
Jail, he was not given his heart medicine for thirty days. He
was without his other medications for sixty days. On June 15,
2017, he was taken to the hospital for shortness of breath
and hypertension. The doctor who treated him recommended a
follow-up with a cardiologist. Defendant Kevin Snow told
plaintiff he would not be allowed to schedule the follow-up
because "we don't do that." Plaintiff alleges
that he filed several grievances regarding the denial of
medical treatment, but defendants Snow, Steve Rhine, and
Unknown Barton refused to respond to them.
further alleges that the Jail is designed to hold
twenty-eight inmates, but the average population has been
fifty-five since plaintiff arrived there. He has had to share
a four-man cell with up to fifteen other inmates. The cells
are filthy, and plaintiff has not had access to a towel or
cleaning supplies, among other things. His medical condition
has worsened as a result. Plaintiff complained to defendants
Barton, Snow, and Shannon Thompson about the conditions, but
they refused to intervene. He says Rhine, Snow, and Barton
threw his grievances on the matter in the trash.
requested access to legal research materials from Zach
Jacobson, Thompson, Rhine, and Snow. Defendants denied his
has alleged non-frivolous claims against defendants Shannon
Thompson, Kevin Snow, and Unknown Barton in their individual
capacities for medical mistreatment and unconstitutional
conditions of confinement. Therefore, the Court will order
the Clerk to serve them with process.
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, a 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 plaintiffs constitutional rights.
Therefore, plaintiffs official-capacity claims are dismissed.
allegations that defendants did not respond to his grievances
do not state a plausible claim for relief. See George v.
Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 609 (7th Cir. 2007) ("Only
persons who cause or participate in the [constitutional]
violations are responsible. Ruling against a prisoner on an
administrative complaint does not cause or contribute to the
violation."). There is no allegation that the failure to
respond to the grievances caused or contributed to cause a
constitutional violation. As a result, the grievance claims
against defendants Snow, Rhine, Barton, and Thompson are
state a claim [for denial of meaningful access to the
courts], inmates must assert that they suffered an actual
injury to pending or contemplated legal claims."