United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
PEREZ D. REED, Plaintiff,
STATE OF MISSOURI and BEVERLY HAUBER, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
W. SIPPEL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a prisoner, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this
civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Having reviewed
plaintiff's financial information, I will assess a
partial initial filing fee of $1, an amount which is
reasonable based upon the information I have about
plaintiff's finances. See Henderson v. Norris,
129 F.3d 481, 484 (8th Cir. 1997); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b).
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), I must 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 upon which relief can be granted, a complaint needs to
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.
an inmate at the St. Louis County Justice Center, brings this
action alleging the State of Missouri and his public
defender, Beverly Hauber, are violating his constitutional
rights by requiring him to submit to a mental evaluation
before he goes to trial. Plaintiff states he is mentally fit
and refuses to participate in the mental evaluation.
Plaintiff has complained to both Ms. Hauber and the District
Public Defender, Stephen Reynolds, that he will not submit to
such an exam. In response, Mr. Reynolds has informed
plaintiff that the trial court requires the examination.
§ 1983 claim must allege that a defendant, acting under
color of state law, deprived the plaintiff of rights,
privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and
laws of the United States. 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Generally,
a public defender does not act under color of state law while
representing a plaintiff in a criminal proceeding. Polk
County v. Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 324-25 (1981).
has filed this § 1983 action against his public
defender, Beverly Hauber. Although there may be exceptions to
the general rule that public defenders do not act under color
of state law, such as “certain administrative and
possibly investigative functions, ” id.,
plaintiff has not alleged any facts supporting an exception.
For example, plaintiff has not alleged his public defender is
engaged in any intentional misconduct or conspiratorial acts.
I cannot find defendant Hauber acted under color of state law
in her capacity as plaintiff's public defender.
Accordingly, plaintiff's §1983 claim against Hauber
fails and will be dismissed under § 1915(e).
also cannot bring his § 1983 claims against the State of
Missouri. “[N]either a State nor its officials acting
in their official capacity are ‘persons' under
§ 1983.” Will v.
MichiganDep=tofStatePolice, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989). As a
result, the complaint fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted as to the State of Missouri, and
plaintiff's § 1983 claim against the State of
Missouri will be dismissed under § 1915(e).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's
motion to proceed in forma pauperis is
GRANTED. [ECF No. 2].
IS 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.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Reed's action is
DISMISSED pursuant to 28 ...