United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
W. SIPPEL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Calvin
Prince Reed for leave to commence this civil action without
prepayment of the required filing fee. Having reviewed the
motion and the financial information submitted in support,
the Court has determined that plaintiff lacks sufficient
funds to pay the entire filing fee, and will assess an
initial partial filing fee of $2.67. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b)(1). In addition, for the reasons discussed
below, the Court will dismiss the complaint pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i).
U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1), a prisoner bringing a civil
action in forma pauperis is required to pay the full amount
of the filing fee. If the prisoner has insufficient funds in
his or her prison account to pay the entire fee, the Court
must assess and, when funds exist, collect an initial partial
filing fee of 20 percent of the greater of (1) the average
monthly deposits in the prisoner's account, or (2) the
average monthly balance in the prisoner's account for the
prior six-month period. After payment of the initial partial
filing fee, the prisoner is required to make monthly payments
of 20 percent of the preceding month's income credited to
the prisoner's account. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). The
agency having custody of the prisoner will forward these
monthly payments to the Clerk of Court each time the amount
in the prisoner's account exceeds $10.00, until the
filing fee is fully paid. Id.
support of the instant motion, plaintiff submitted an
affidavit and a Resident Funds Inquiry form showing an
average monthly balance of $13.36. The Court will therefore
assess an initial partial filing fee of $2.67, which is
twenty percent of plaintiff's average monthly balance.
Standard on Initial Review
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), 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 under § 1983, 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,
inter alia, draw upon judicial experience and common
sense. Id. at 679.
reviewing a pro se complaint under § 1915(e)(2), the
Court must give it the benefit of a liberal construction.
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). However,
this does not mean that pro se complaints may be
merely conclusory. 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”). In addition, 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,
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The
sole named defendant is the St. Louis City Justice Center.
Plaintiff alleges: “During the Holy Month of Ramadan,
which started May 27, 2017, the Muslims were treated with
disrespect and cruel and unusual punishment.” (Docket
No. 1 at 5). Plaintiff alleges that meals were served late.
He also alleges that they often received “brown
bag” dinners that consisted of two bologna sandwiches,
tortilla chips, 2 baby carrots, and a piece of cake, which
deprived them of proper protein and nutrients. He alleges
that hot dinners were given after complaints were made about
the brown bag meals, but one of the dinners did not look or
smell edible. Finally, plaintiff alleges that he was not
permitted to move to a different cell after he complained
that explicit drawings and offensive writing on his cell wall
hampered his ability to pray.
complaint will be dismissed. Relevant precedent establishes
that a department or subdivision of local government is not a
“juridical, ” or suable, entity under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Ketchum v. City of West Memphis, Ark.,
974 F.2d 81, 82 (1992). Therefore, plaintiff's claim
against the St. Louis City Justice Center fails as a matter
of law. See Ballard v. Missouri, Case No.
4:13-cv-528-JAR (E.D. Mo. Apr. 22, 2013) (holding that
“[p]laintiff's claims against the City of St. Louis
Department of Public Safety, the St. Louis County Justice
Center, the City of St. Louis Justice Center, and
MSI/Workhouse are legally frivolous because these defendants
are not suable entities”); see also Wallace v. St.
Louis City Justice Ctr., Case No. 4:12-cv-2291-JAR (E.D.
Mo. Jul. 17, 2013) (dismissing claims against the St. Louis
City Justice Center because it is not a suable entity).
the Court were to construe the complaint as brought against
the City of St. Louis and substitute the municipality as
defendant, plaintiff's allegations would not state a
claim of municipal liability. Liability under § 1983 may
attach to a municipality if the constitutional violation
resulted from: (1) an official municipal policy; (2) an
unofficial custom; or (3) a deliberately indifferent failure
to train or supervise. Monell v. Dept. of Social Services
of City of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 691 (1978), City
of Canton, Ohio v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 388 (1989);
see also Veatch v. Bartels Lutheran Home, 627 F.3d
1254, 1257 (8th Cir. 2010) (explaining that under §
1983, the plaintiff must demonstrate either that the
municipality had a policy or custom that caused the
constitutional violation or that the municipality or a
municipal employee exhibited deliberate indifference to the
plaintiff's constitutional rights by failing to
adequately train or supervise its employees). Here, the
complaint contains no such allegations, and the Court will
not assume facts not alleged. See Stone, 364 F.3d at
914-15 (federal courts are not required to “assume
facts that are not alleged, just because an additional
factual allegation would have formed a stronger
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's
motion to proceed in forma ...