United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. COLLINS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss (Doc. 27). The motion is fully briefed and ready for
disposition. The parties have consented to the jurisdiction
of the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to
28 U.S.C. 636(c)(1). For the following reasons, Defendants'
Motion will be GRANTED and the consolidated
action will be DISMISSED.
a consolidated Section 1983. Pro se Plaintiff Rex S.
Gunther f/k/a Peter Charles Kroner's
(“Plaintiff”), a civilly committed person at the
Southeast Missouri Mental Health Center (“SMMHC”)
in Farmington, Missouri, alleges that Defendants Dr. Stacey
Neff (“Dr. Neff”) and David Schmitt
“Defendants”) restricted his ability to send and
receive mail. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Neff,
“verbally told ‘NO' [sic] to the petitioner
for sending any mail item to his fiancé . . . or
receiving any mail item from her” (Doc. 1 at 1).
Plaintiff further asserts that Dr. Neff will also not let him
have any phone contact with his fiancé (Id.).
As to his claims against Dr. Neff, Plaintiff requests various
forms of injunctive relief (Id. at 2).
also alleges that Schmitt, the Chief Operating Officer at
SMMHC, violated Plaintiff's constitutional rights by not
allowing Plaintiff to send or receive mail (Doc.
5). In support of his assertion, Plaintiff provides, as an
exhibit attached to the Amended Complaint, a memo from
Schmitt to Plaintiff dated October 25, 2016 (Id. at
The Memo reads in its entirety:
Per our conversation and at your request[, ] I am outlining,
herein, the reasons for the restriction of your mail.
You have recently made several attempts to forward mail to
individuals you are restricted from contact with using third
party intermediaries, have attempted to receive items with
pictures of children in spite of restrictions on such due to
pedophilia, and have attempted to mail large sums of money.
These behaviors are interfering with your therapeutic
processes. Therefore, your mail will be restricted (except
for legitimate legal mail) for 30 days based on RSMO 630.010
subsection 5 at which time the restriction will be reviewed.
(Id.). Plaintiff asserts that his mail was
restricted from October 25, 2016 to December 19, 2016
(Id. at 5). Plaintiff also asserts that Schmitt
incorrectly labels him a pedophile as “Plaintiff's
lifetime criminal record shows that there never was anything
brought before any court of a sexual nature”
(Id.). In support of this assertion, Plaintiff
provides the Court with what appears to be the first page of
his Missouri Criminal History (Id. at 8). As to
Schmitt, Plaintiff requests that Schmitt “be ordered to
immediately release all restrictions on the Plaintiff's
incoming and outgoing mail; stop all screening of all mail
either way and Plaintiff can send outgoing mail any day from
Monday to Friday” (Id. at 9). Plaintiff also
requests monetary damages in the amount of $1, 000, 000
(Id.). Plaintiff sues both Dr. Neff and Schmitt as
persons and in their professional statuses (See Id.
19, 2017, Defendants moved pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) to dismiss the consolidated action (Doc.
27). On June 23, 2017, Plaintiff filed a letter entitled
“Update for Current Action” indicating that as of
June 20, 2017, his phone and mail restrictions had been
altered such that his phone restrictions were removed as were
any restrictions on incoming mail but his outgoing mail
continues to be screened and censored and he can only send
mail out on Tuesdays and Fridays (Doc. 30). On June 30, 2017,
in response to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, Plaintiff
filed a “Reply to Motion to Dismiss” indicating
that he “concurs with the dismissal of complaint with
Defendant Dr. Stacey Neff . . . [and] concurs with dismissal
of partial complaint with Defendant David Schmitt for only
those stated in Section (2) [(presumptively Plaintiff's
injunctive relief request)]” (Doc. 31 at 1).
to the filing of Plaintiff's response, on June 30, 2017
in light of the letter filed by Plaintiff, the Court directed
Plaintiff to file a memorandum no later than fourteen (14)
days from the date of the Order either (1) indicating that he
wished to dismiss the injunctive relief claims against David
Schmitt and the Complaint against Dr. Stacey Neff or (2)
stating why his injunctive relief claims against David
Schmitt and his Complaint against Dr. Stacey Neff should not
be dismissed as moot (Doc. 29). Plaintiff did not file a
memorandum with the Court. However, on August 14, 2017,
Plaintiff filed a letter indicating that he filed his reply
with the Court and requesting an update on the status of the
case (Doc. 32). Therefore, as a preliminary matter, the Court
will grant Defendants' Motion to Dismiss as to the
injunctive claims in this consolidated case. Accordingly, as
Plaintiff only requested injunctive relief of Dr. Stacey
Neff, she will be dismissed. The only issue remaining before
the Court is whether Plaintiff's claim for monetary
damages against Schmitt properly states a claim upon which
relief can be granted.
Legal Standard for a Motion to Dismiss
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) provides for a motion to dismiss based on the
“failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” To survive a motion to dismiss a complaint
must show “ ‘that the pleader is entitled to
relief, ' in order to ‘give the defendant fair
notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which
it rests.' ” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v.
Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). “Threadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice” to defeat a
motion to dismiss. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
“[O]nly a complaint that states a plausible claim for
relief survives a motion to dismiss.” Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 679 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
The pleading standard of Rule 8 “does not require
‘detailed factual allegations, ' but it demands
more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). “When ruling on a
defendant's motion to dismiss, a judge must accept as
true all of the factual allegations contained in the
complaint.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89,
94 (2007). All reasonable inferences from the complaint must
be drawn in favor of the nonmoving party. Schaaf v.
Residential Funding Corp., 517 F.3d 544, 549 (8th Cir.