United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff Dean
Bryan Davidson, a detainee at the Southeast Missouri Mental
Health Center, for leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this
civil action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The
Court has reviewed the financial information submitted in
support, and will grant the motion. In addition, the Court
will dismiss the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
Standard on Initial Review
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. A complaint must contain "sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "A claim has
facial plausibility when the pleaded factual content allows
the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant
is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. This
Court is required to liberally construe a pro se complaint,
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), and must
accept plaintiffs factual allegations as true unless they are
clearly irrational or wholly incredible. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992). The Court is not
required to "assume facts that are not alleged, just
because an additional factual allegation would have formed a
stronger complaint." Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d
912, 914-15 (8th Cir. 2004). Giving a pro se complaint the
benefit of a liberal construction does not mean that the
rules of ordinary civil litigation must be interpreted to
excuse mistakes by those who proceed pro se. McNeil v.
U.S., 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993).
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Named
as defendants are Fulton State Hospital, Southeast Missouri
Mental Health Center, Steven David Hawke, and Denise Boyde.
Plaintiff states that he sues all defendants in their
official and individual capacities.
alleges that he is being wrongfully detained; that
"staff and "they" have opened and read his
legal mail, "practiced illegal authority over the
Constitution of the United States" and broken his
confidentiality; that he was lost in the shuffle when he was
about to be discharged from Fulton State Hospital; that
"they" and "social worker Denise Boyde from
here" admitted to opening and reading his regular mail
and legal mail; that he has been slandered, ridiculed and
humiliated religiously; and that his reputation as an
ordained minister has been ruined. Plaintiff further asserts
that he still suffers from Brain Trauma Injury that you
"can't put a price on." As relief, plaintiff
seeks monetary damages.
Southeast Missouri Mental Health Center and Fulton State
Hospital are entities of the State of Missouri, plaintiffs
claims against them are barred by the Eleventh Amendment.
Will v. Michigan Dept. of State Police, 491 U.S. 58,
71 (1989). Because Boyde and Hawke are employees of the State
of Missouri, plaintiffs official capacity claims against them
for monetary damages are also barred by the Eleventh
Amendment. Andrus ex rel. Andrus v. Arkansas, 197
F.3d 953, 955 (8th Cir. 1999) (citing Will, 491 U.S.
58) ("A claim for damages against a state employee in
his official capacity is barred under the Eleventh
Amendment"). Therefore, plaintiffs claims against
Southeast Missouri Mental Health Center and Fulton State
Hospital, and plaintiffs official capacity claims against
Boyde and Hawke, will be dismissed pursuant to 28U.S.C.
individual capacity claims against Boyde and Hawke will be
dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
Plaintiff has not made any factual allegations against Hawke
in this matter. And the only factual allegation against Boyde
is that she admitted she had opened and read plaintiffs mail.
plaintiff alleges that some of the mail Boyde read and
reviewed was "legal mail, " he has not alleged that
there was an actual injury to a specific case or a specific
legal claim or interference with his right to counsel.
It therefore cannot be said that plaintiff states a claim of
constitutional magnitude against Boyde. See Myers v.
Hundley, 101 F.3d 542, 544 (8th Cir. 1996) (to state a
claim for denial of access to the courts, a plaintiff must
assert that he suffered an actual injury to pending or
contemplated legal claims); Davis v. Goord, 320 F.3d
346, 351 (2d Cir. 2003) (to state a claim under the First
Amendment, a plaintiff must show a regular and unjustifiable
interference with mail); see also Zimmerman v.
Tribble, 226 F.3d 568, 572 (7th Cir. 2000) (allegations
of sporadic and short-term delays and disruptions in mail are
insufficient to state a claim under the First Amendment).
also fails to allege facts tending to show that Boyde
regularly and unjustifiably interfered with his mail, or that
she destroyed, withheld or refused to send
any mail. The remainder of the complaint
sets forth generalized, rambling allegations that "staff
and "they" committed various forms of wrongdoing.
These allegations do not state a claim against Boyde because
liability under § 1983 requires a causal link to, and
direct responsibility for, the alleged deprivation of rights.
Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1338 (8th Cir.
1985) (claim not cognizable under § 1983 where the
plaintiff failed to allege that a defendant was personally
involved in or directly responsible for incidents that
plaintiffs are required to set forth their claims in a
simple, concise, and direct manner, and they are required to
set forth the facts supporting such claims as to each named
defendant. This Court's obligation to liberally construe
plaintiffs complaint does not include the obligation to
create facts or construct claims that have not been alleged.
See Stone, 364 F.3d at 914-15 (Court is not required
to "assume facts that are not alleged, just because an
additional factual allegation would have formed a stronger
complaint."). Having liberally construed the complaint,
the Court concludes that it is subject to dismissal pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)-(iii). See also,
Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992) (An
action is factually frivolous if the facts alleged are
"clearly baseless"; allegations are clearly
baseless if they are "fanciful, " "delusional,
" or "fantastic").
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion
for leave to proceed in forma ...