United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff Dean
Bryan Davidson, a detainee at the Southeast Missouri Mental
Health Center, for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis in this civil action filed pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has reviewed the financial
information submitted in support, and will grant the motion.
In addition, the Court will dismiss the complaint pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).
Standard on Initial Review
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. A complaint must contain
"sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face."
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). "A claim has facial plausibility when the
pleaded factual content allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged." Id. This Court is required
to liberally construe a pro se complaint, Haines
v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), and must accept
plaintiffs factual allegations as true unless they are
clearly irrational or wholly incredible. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992). The Court is not
required to "assume facts that are not alleged, just
because an additional factual allegation would have formed a
stronger complaint." Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d
912, 914-15 (8th Cir. 2004). Giving a pro se
complaint the benefit of a liberal construction does not mean
that the rules of ordinary civil litigation must be
interpreted to excuse mistakes by those who proceed pro
se. McNeil v. U.S., 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993).
Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Named as defendants are the Southeast Missouri Mental
Health Center, Denise Boyde, and Fulton State Hospital.
Plaintiff states that he sues all defendants in their
official and individual capacities. Plaintiff alleges that he
is being wrongfully detained; that "staff and
"they" have opened and read his legal mail,
"practiced illegal authority over the Constitution of
the United States" and broken his confidentiality; that
he was lost in the shuffle when he was about to be discharged
from Fulton State Hospital; that "they" and
"social worker Denise Boyde from here" admitted to
opening and reading his mail; that he has been slandered,
ridiculed and humiliated religiously; and that his reputation
as an ordained minister has been ruined. (Docket No. 1 at 5).
As relief, he seeks $1, 000, 000.00 in damages.
Because Southeast Missouri Mental Health Center and Fulton
State Hospital are entities of the State of Missouri,
plaintiffs claims against them are barred by the Eleventh
Amendment. Will v. Michigan Dept. of State Police,
491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989). Because Boyde is an employee of
Fulton State Hospital, plaintiffs official capacity claims
against her for monetary damages are also barred by the
Eleventh Amendment. Andrus ex rel. Andrus v.
Arkansas, 197 F.3d 953, 955 (8th Cir. 1999) (citing
Will, 491 U.S. 58) ("A claim for damages
against a state employee in his official capacity is barred
under the Eleventh Amendment"). Therefore, plaintiffs
claims against Southeast Missouri Mental Health Center and
Fulton State Hospital, and plaintiffs official capacity
claims against Boyde, will be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
individual capacity claims against Boyde will be dismissed
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). The only
factual allegation against Boyde is that she admitted she had
opened and read plaintiffs mail. Plaintiff does not allege
that the mail at issue was legal mail, nor does he allege an
actual injury to pending or contemplated legal claims or
interference with his right to counsel. Plaintiff also fails
to allege facts tending to show that Boyde regularly and
unjustifiably interfered with his mail, or that she
destroyed, withheld or refused to send any mail. It therefore
cannot be said that plaintiff states a claim of
constitutional magnitude against Boyde. See Myers v.
Hundley, 101 F.3d 542, 544 (8th Cir. 1996) (to state a
claim for denial of access to the courts, a plaintiff must
assert that he suffered an actual injury to pending or
contemplated legal claims); Davis v. Goord, 320 F.3d
346, 351 (2d Cir. 2003) (to state a claim under the First
Amendment, a plaintiff must show a regular and unjustifiable
interference with mail); see also Zimmerman v.
Tribble, 226 F.3d 568, 572 (7th Cir. 2000) (allegations
of sporadic and short-term delays and disruptions in mail are
insufficient to state a claim under the First Amendment). The
remainder of the complaint sets forth generalized, rambling
allegations that ''staff and "they"
committed various forms of wrongdoing. These allegations do
not state a claim against Boyde because liability under
§ 1983 requires a causal link to, and direct
responsibility for, the alleged deprivation of rights.
Martin, 780 F.2d 1334, 1338 (8th Cir. 1985) (claim
not cognizable under § 1983 where the plaintiff failed
to allege that a defendant was personally involved in or
directly responsible for incidents that injured him).
plaintiffs are required to set forth their claims in a
simple, concise, and direct manner, and they are required to
set forth the facts supporting such claims as to each named
defendant. This Court's obligation to liberally construe
plaintiffs complaint does not include the obligation to
create facts or construct claims that have not been alleged.
See Stone, 364 F.3d at 914-15 (Court is not required
to "assume facts that are not alleged, just because an
additional factual allegation would have formed a stronger
complaint."). Having liberally construed the complaint,
the Court concludes that it is subject to dismissal pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)-(iii).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Docket No.
2) is GRANTED.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the complaint is
DISMISSED without prejudice pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). A separate order of dismissal
will be entered herewith.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiffs motion for the
appointment of counsel (Docket No. 3) is
DENIED as moot.
IS HEREBY CERTIFIED that an appeal from this