United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
G. FLEISSIG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff
Steven Alexander Jordan for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis in this civil action. Upon consideration of the
financial information provided with the application, the
Court finds that plaintiff is financially unable to pay the
filing fee. The motion will therefore be granted. In
addition, the Court will dismiss the complaint pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
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.
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.
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging
violations of his civil rights. Plaintiff has named the St.
Louis City Justice Center as the sole defendant.
states that, on January 19, 2011, he was arrested and charged
with murder in the first degree, assault in the first degree,
and two counts of armed criminal action in St. Louis City
Court. He alleges that, in violation of his Constitutional
rights, he was subjected to malicious prosecution, false
imprisonment, false arrest, defamation, and assault, and was
released two years later on a nolle prosequi.
Plaintiff claims that “a computer contained 64 voice
recordings provided evidence of innocence to the St. Louis
City Justice Center Courts before May 5, 2011. However no
immediate process was initiated to restore life or
liberty.” (Docket No. 1 at 4). Plaintiff also alleges
that, while incarcerated, he suffered nerve damage to his
right shoulder and hip. However, he does not explain the
defendant's role in the infliction of those injuries. He
seeks monetary damages, and expunction of his record.
has previously filed complaints in this Court alleging these
same claims based upon these same facts. In Jordan v. St.
Louis City Justice Center, et al., No. 4:17-cv-2681-AGF
(E.D. Mo. Dec. 4, 2017), plaintiff filed such a complaint
against this defendant and three other defendants. On
December 4, 2017, the Court dismissed the complaint pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) after determining that it was
frivolous and failed to state a claim upon which relief could
be granted. Plaintiff filed other complaints alleging
these same claims, based upon these same facts, against
different defendants. See Jordan v. 22nd
Judicial Circuit Court, No. 4:17-cv-2680-RWS (E.D. Mo.
Nov. 9, 2017); Jordan v. State of Missouri District
Attorney's Office, No. 4:17-cv-2893-AGF (E.D. Mo.
Dec. 26, 2017). Those complaints were also dismissed pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) on the grounds they were
frivolous and/or failed to state a claim upon which relief
could be granted.
instant complaint alleges the same claims based upon the same
facts as prior complaints filed by plaintiff and dismissed by
this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). While the
dismissal of the prior complaints “does not bar future
litigation over the merits of a paid complaint making the
same allegations as the dismissed complaint, a § 1915(e)
dismissal has res judicata effect ‘on frivolousness
determinations for future in forma pauperis
petitions.'” Waller v. Groose, 38 F.3d
1007, 1008 (8th Cir. 1994) (per curiam) (quoting
Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25 (1992)); see
also Cooper v. Delo, 997 F.2d 376, 377 (8th Cir. 1993)
(§ 1915(e) dismissal has res judicata effect on future
IFP petitions). Accordingly, the Court determines that the
§ 1915(e) dismissals of plaintiff's prior cases have
res judicata effect and establish that this complaint, making
the same allegations based upon the same facts, is frivolous
for § 1915(e) purposes.
complaint is also frivolous and subject to dismissal because
plaintiff's claims are barred by the statute of
limitations. In Wallace v. Kato, the United States
Supreme Court held that the statute of limitations upon a
§ 1983 claim seeking damages for a false arrest/false
imprisonment in violation of the Fourth Amendment, where the
arrest is followed by criminal proceedings, begins to run at
the time the claimant is detained pursuant to legal process.
549 U.S. 384, 397 (2007). Section 1983 claims are analogous
to personal injury claims, and are subject to Missouri's
five-year statute of limitations. Sulik v. Taney County,
Mo., 393 F.3d 765, 766-67 (8th Cir. 2005); Mo. Rev.
Stat. § 516.120(4). In this case, plaintiff's claims
stem from a January 9, 2011 arrest, but he did not file the
complaint until December 18, 2017. Although the statute of
limitations is an affirmative defense, a district court may
properly dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint as frivolous
when it is apparent the statute of limitations has run.
Myers v. Vogal, 960 F.2d 750, 751 (8th Cir. 1992).
Finally, even if plaintiff's claims were not time-barred,
the complaint would be dismissed as legally frivolous because
the defendant is not an entity that can be sued. Ketchum
v. City of West Memphis, Ark., 974 F.2d 81, 82 (8th Cir.
1992) (departments or subdivisions of local government are
“not juridical entities suable as such.”). The
Court concludes that the complaint is subject to dismissal on
these bases, as well.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's
motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Docket No. 2) is
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall not
issue process upon the complaint because it is legally
frivolous and/or it fails to state a claim upon which ...