United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
W. SIPPEL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a prisoner at Missouri Eastern Correctional Center
(“MECC”), seeks leave to proceed in forma
pauperis in this civil action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Having reviewed plaintiff’s financial
information, the Court assesses an initial partial filing fee
of $.25, which is twenty percent of his average monthly
deposit. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). Furthermore,
based upon a review of the complaint, the Court finds that
the complaint should be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
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.
an inmate at the MECC, states that when he was incarcerated
at Algoa Correctional Center in 2016, he filed a complaint at
Algoa pursuant to the Prison Rape Elimination Act
(“PREA”), under the “staff sexual
harassment section.” Plaintiff claims that in March of 2017,
he was verbally threatened by defendant Mark Memhardt at MECC
“over the situation.” Plaintiff does not provide
any additional information as to what the threat allegedly
involved or what situation he is purportedly referring to.
asserts that “a complaint was filed in the . . .
Attorney General’s Office with consumer advocate
Danielle Rackers re complaint No. CC-2017-06-000710
(MDOC).” Plaintiff alleges that “the situation is
that [there was a] patronizing excuse of [an] appeal response
signed by Deputy Director Earls” which plaintiff
believes “is not a valid response considering the fact
that two correctional officers can know each other
personally.” Plaintiff also states that “nowhere
in any ‘plea bargain’ that I accepted from the
Courts included harassment of any type or threats by
employees.” Plaintiff alleges that he has been verbally
“harassed” and is suing for “pain and
suffering.” Plaintiff seeks monetary damages in his
complaint fails to state a claim against the Missouri
Department of Corrections (“MDOC”), as it is not
a “person” subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. See, e.g., Barket, Levy & Fine, Inc. v. St.
Louis Thermal Energy Corp., 948 F.2d 1084, 1086 (8th
Cir. 1991); Hatfield v. Missouri Dep't of
Corr., No. 4:14-CV-1820-RWS, 2014 WL 6473647, at *2
(E.D. Mo. Nov. 18, 2014).
verbal threats or harassment, without more, do not invade a
federally-protected right. Burton v. Livingston, 791
F.2d 97, 99 (8th Cir. 1986). Thus, plaintiff has not alleged
a constitutional violation against Mark Memhardt in this
action under § 1983.
to the extent plaintiff is asserting that Alan Earls violated
his civil rights by responding to his grievance appeal in a
patronizing manner, his assertions do not rise to the level
of a constitutional violation. “Only persons who cause
or participate in the [constitutional] violations are
responsible. Ruling against a prisoner on an administrative
complaint does not cause or contribute to the
violation.” George v. Smith, 507 F. 3d 605,
609 (7th Cir. 2007) (citations omitted).
to the extent that plaintiff is attempting to sue defendants
under the PREA, the complaint is legally frivolous and does
not provide a federal cause of action. The PREA “does
not create a right of action that is privately enforceable by
an individual civil litigant.” E.g., LeMasters v.
Fabian, No. 09–702 DSD/AJB, 2009 WL 1405176, at *2
(D. Minn. May 18, 2009); Chinnici v. Edwards, No.
1:07–cv–229, 2008 WL 3851294, at *3 (D. Vt. Aug.
12, 2008) (“The PREA is intended to address the problem
of rape in prison, authorizes grant money, and creates a
commission to study the issue. 42 U.S.C. § 15601 et
seq. The statute does not grant prisoners any specific
extent that plaintiff’s request for monetary damages
for “pain and suffering” and “emotional
distress” can be interpreted as state law claims for
relief, the Court declines to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over these claims and will dismiss them without
prejudice. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion
for leave to proceed in forma ...