United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Joey
Glasgow 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 to grant the motion and assess an
initial partial filing fee of $5.80. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b)(1). In addition, for the reasons discussed
below, the Court will dismiss the complaint, without
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 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 inmate
account statement showing an average monthly balance of
$28.99. The Court will therefore assess an initial partial
filing fee of $5.80, 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
complaints are to be liberally construed. Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). However, they still
must allege sufficient facts to support the claims alleged.
Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914-15 (8th Cir.
2004); see also Martin v. Aubuchon, 623 F.2d 1282,
1286 (8th Cir. 1980) (even pro se complaints are required to
allege facts which, if true, state a claim for relief as a
matter of law). Federal courts are not required to
"assume facts that are not alleged, just because an
additional factual allegation would have formed a stronger
complaint." Stone, 364 F.3d at 914-15. In
addition, giving 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, 113(1993).
is an inmate at the Dunklin County Justice Center. He brings
this action for violation of his civil rights against
"Dunklin County Judges, Prosecutors and Lawyers."
(Docket No. 1 at 1). He alleges as follows. In 2017, he was
arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance.
One Judge Spielman set a $40, 000 cash-only bond, causing
plaintiff to remain in jail. He was subsequently bonded over
to one Judge Mayer, who reduced the bond. Plaintiff posted
bond and was released. However, Judge Spielman then issued a
probation violation warrant related to a different case, and
plaintiff was arrested. Plaintiff protested that he was no
longer on probation, and telephoned his former lawyer and the
public defender appointed to represent him on his controlled
substance case. He appeared before Judge Spielman, who set
his bond at $5, 000 cash-only. Plaintiff remained in jail.
claims that because Judges Mayer and Spielman "put [him]
off, " he spent more time in jail. (Docket No. 1 at 3).
He states he was unable to spend time with his children
"because of the wrongful doing of the Judges,
Prosecutors, and lawyers." Id. Plaintiff
believes that the actions of which he complains were taken
because plaintiff was unable to cooperate with law
enforcement. Plaintiff seeks monetary relief in an
unspecified amount for "mental anguish and the days lost
of [his] life." Id. He seeks no other form of
complaint will be dismissed as legally frivolous. Plaintiff
is seeking monetary damages against "Judges, "
presumably Judges Spielman and Mayer, for actions they took
while performing their respective duties in judicial
proceedings. However, judges are absolutely immune from suit
for money damages unless they act outside of their judicial
capacity or in the clear absence of jurisdiction, and
plaintiff alleges no such facts. Mireles v. Waco,
502 U.S. 9, 11-12 (1991); Liles v. Reagan, 804 F.2d
493, 495 (8th Cir. 1986); see also Pierson v. Ray,
386 U.S. 547 (1967) (judges may not be held liable for
damages under § 1983 for the performance of their
respective duties injudicial proceedings).
also names "prosecutors" as defendants. However, he
includes no factual allegations of specific wrongdoing on the
part of any prosecutor. "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). To the
extent plaintiff can be understood to seek monetary damages
against any prosecutor for initiating a prosecution and
presenting a criminal case against him in court, such
allegations would be dismissed. Absolute immunity protects
prosecutors against claims arising from their initiation of a
prosecution and presenting a criminal case, even when
vindictive prosecution is alleged. See Myers v.
Morris,810 F.2d 1437, 1448 (8th Cir. 1987)
(prosecutorial immunity extends even to allegations of
vindictive prosecution); see also Imbler v.
Pachtman,424 U.S. 409, 430-31 (1976) (prosecutors are
absolutely immune from civil rights claims based on actions
taken while initiating and pursuing a criminal prosecution);
see also Brodnicki v. City of Omaha,75 F.3d 1261,