United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a prisoner, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this
civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff had been
an inmate at the St. Louis City Justice Center for only one
month prior to filing this action and requesting his inmate
account statement. Having reviewed plaintiff's financial
information for this month, the Court assesses a partial
initial filing fee of $1.00. See Henderson v.
Norris, 129 F.3d 481, 484 (8th Cir. 1997).
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.
brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Named as
defendant is the St. Louis City Justice Center. Plaintiff
alleges he was denied his “religious practices”
on July 2, 2017 because the St. Louis City Justice Center
“decided they wanted to paint.” He also alleges
he was deprived of exercise, which he needs to maintain his
blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Finally, plaintiff
states that as a pretrial detainee he “should not be
subject to cruel and unusual punishment.”
complaint is subject to dismissal because it is legally
frivolous. Plaintiff names the St. Louis City Justice Center
as the sole defendant. However, jails and local government
detention centers are not suable entities. 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”); see also Ballard v. Missouri, Case No.
4:13-CV-528 JAR, 2013 WL 1720966, at *3 (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”).
addition, even if the Court were to liberally construe
plaintiff's allegations 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); 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) (citing City
of Canton, Ohio v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 388 (1989)).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed
in forma pauperis [ECF No. 2] is GRANTED.
FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff must pay an initial filing fee
of $1 within twenty-one (21) days of the date of this Order.
Plaintiff is instructed to make his remittance payable to
“Clerk, United States District Court, ” and to
include upon it: (1) his name; (2) his prison registration
number; (3) the case number; and (4) that the remittance is
for an original proceeding.
FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to appoint
counsel [ECF No. 5] ...