United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the motion of plaintiff Keith Dionte Moon,
for leave to commence this action without payment of the
required filing fee. After reviewing plaintiffs financial
affidavit, the Court will grant plaintiffs motion to proceed
in forma pauperis. Furthermore, based upon a review of the
complaint, the Court finds that the complaint should be
dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
U.S.C. § 1915(e)
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court may dismiss a
complaint filed in forma pauperis if the action is frivolous,
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief. An action is frivolous if "it
lacks an arguable basis in either law or in fact."
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328 (1989). An
action is malicious when it is undertaken for the purpose of
harassing litigants and not for the purpose of vindicating a
cognizable right. Spencer v. Rhodes, 656 F.Supp.
458, 461-63 (E.D. N.C. 1987), aff'd 826 F.2d
1059 (4th Cir. 1987).
determine whether an action fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted, the Court must engage in a two-step
inquiry. First, the Court must identify the allegations in
the complaint that are not entitled to the assumption of
truth. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1950-51
(2009). These include "legal conclusions" and
"[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action [that are] supported by mere conclusory
statements." Id. at 1949. Second, the Court
must determine whether the complaint states a plausible claim
for relief. Id. at 1950-51. This is a
"context-specific task that requires the reviewing court
to draw on its judicial experience and common sense."
Id. at 1950. The plaintiff is required to plead
facts that show more than the "mere possibility of
misconduct." Id. The Court must review the
factual allegations in the complaint "to determine if
they plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief."
Id. at 1951. When faced with alternative
explanations for the alleged misconduct, the Court may
exercise its judgment in determining whether plaintiffs
proffered conclusion is the most plausible or whether it is
more likely that no misconduct occurred. Id. at
Keith Dionte Moon, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 alleging violations of his civil rights when he
was incarcerated in the Cape Girardeau County Jail in July of
2012. Named as defendants in this action are: the Cape
Girardeau County Jail; John Jordan (Sheriff, Cape Girardeau
County); James Mulcahy (Captain, Cape Girardeau County Jail);
Ruth Ann Dickerson (Captain); Tina Henderson (Lieutenant);
T.C. Stevens (Lieutenant); Securus Technologies; and Unknown
Third Party Food Services Vendor. Plaintiff sues defendants
in their individual capacities.
states that he was incarcerated at the Cape Girardeau County
Jail from July 2012 through early September 2012. He claims
that he was subjected to unhygienic conditions of confinement
during his incarceration. Specifically, plaintiff asserts
that the holding cell where he was first strip-searched was
"covered with dirt, " it was "freezing, "
and clothing from inmates were "piled in heaps
everywhere." Plaintiff asserts that he was made to stand
in a "lye shower" and given a "dirty
towel" to dry off with. He was given a "gray
blanket" to use and a "thin sheet, " and he
complains that he was not given any hygiene materials at his
intake. He claims that the mattress he was given had holes in
it and was deflated. He states that the toilet in his cell
was dirty and did not seem to be working, and he claims that
the cell walls were "covered with dirt." He admits
that there was a second toilet nearby that was also used by
inmates, but he complains that there was no shower curtain in
the shower for privacy. Plaintiff also complains that the
food "was inedible."
complains that his letters to his brother, Darnell Wesley
Moon, who was incarcerated at the Cape Girardeau County Jail
in May of 2015, were returned to him due to a "post-card
only" policy instituted at the jail. Plaintiff states
that he was told that this policy was instituted as a result
of inmates smuggling drugs in from the postage stamps on
envelopes and using staples as weapons.
states that he asked to visit his brother in the Jail but he
was told by Lieutenant Stevens that the Jail had abolished
non-contact visits and was in the process of establishing
video visits via a company called Securus. Plaintiff asserts
that Securus and defendants acted together to violate his
First Amendment rights to free association by instituting the
post-card only policy and video visits policy. Plaintiff
further asserts that he would like to bring a
"Monell" claim against the Cape Girardeau County
Jail for instituting the post-card only policy.
seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
claim against the Cape Girardeau County Jail is legally
frivolous because it cannot be sued. Ketchum v. City of
West Memphis, Ark., 974 F.2d 81, 82 (8th Cir. 1992)
(departments or subdivisions of local government are
"not juridical entities suable as such.").
plaintiffs claims against the remaining defendants fail to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted because he has
not connected his claims against any of the named defendants.
"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