United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROSS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff
Michael Earl Stamps, an inmate at Cape Girardeau County Jail,
for leave to commence this action without payment of the
required filing fee. For the reasons stated below, the Court
finds that plaintiff does not have sufficient funds to pay
the entire filing fee and will assess an initial partial
filing fee of $1. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
Furthermore, based upon a review of the complaint, the Court
will stay and administratively close this action pursuant to
the Supreme Court case of Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S.
384 (2007), based on the pendency of an underlying criminal
case against plaintiff arising out of the same facts. In
addition, plaintiff has filed a motion for preliminary
injunction which will be denied for the reasons stated below.
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 or her 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, until the filing
fee is fully paid. Id.
has submitted a motion to proceed in forma pauperis and an
affidavit in support, but has not filed a certified copy of
his prison account statement for the six-month period
immediately preceding the submission of his complaint.
Plaintiff states that he was unable to obtain a copy of his
account statement because the jail refused to provide one.
After reviewing plaintiffs motion and affidavit, the Court
will require plaintiff to pay an initial partial filing fee
of $1, an amount that is reasonable based upon the
information the Court has about plaintiffs finances. See
Henderson v. Norris, 129 F.3d 481, 484 (8th Cir. 1997)
(when a prisoner is unable to provide the Court with a
certified copy of his prison account statement, the Court
should assess an amount "that is reasonable, based on
whatever information the court has about the prisoner's
brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging
violations of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Named as defendants are Christopher K. Limbaugh (Prosecuting
Attorney, Cape Girardeau County); James Goins (Police
Officer, Cape Girardeau Police Department ("CGPD");
Jerry Franks (Detective, CGPD); Officer Templeton (Police
Officer, CGPD); and the County of Cape Girardeau.
twenty-one page complaint states plaintiffs version of the
events leading up to his confinement in Cape Girardeau County
Jail for first degree robbery and armed criminal action, and
why he believes the Cape Girardeau police and prosecutor are
violating his civil rights. According to plaintiffs
complaint, on March 18, 2016 a man named Travis Paul
Dickerson was robbed at knifepoint in his car after cashing a
tax refund check at Wal-Mart in Cape Girardeau County.
Through surveillance footage and motor vehicle records, Cape
Girardeau police identified twelve suspects. Through a photo
line-up, the victim identified plaintiff Michael Stamps and
another individual as the men who had robbed him, stating
that he was 75 to 80 percent sure these were the
complaint, plaintiff states that he was not involved in the
crime and that he was working at Midtown Landscaping on the
day Mr. Dickerson was robbed. He states his employer would
verify through his timesheets that he was at work during the
robbery. He also states that through fingerprint analysis, he
was completely eliminated as a source of a set of
fingerprints in Mr. Dickerson's car. Plaintiff states he
has been shown an earlier police report filed by Mr.
Dickerson that contradicts his later police report, and the
prosecutor has not produced this exculpatory evidence.
alleges, without support, collusion between his public
defender and the prosecutor, which caused his public defender
to hide exculpatory evidence at his preliminary hearing,
including his work schedule and time sheet. Plaintiff also
states that his public defender did not notify him of a court
date while he was on bond, and thus his bond was revoked.
Plaintiff states defendant the County of Cape Girardeau fails
to train police officers in proper investigation techniques
and allows officers to pursue cases without probable cause.
Finally, plaintiff asserts a state law claim of intentional
infliction of emotional distress against the defendants. For
relief, plaintiff seeks an injunction and damages in excess
of $2.5 million.
Wallace v. Koto, 549 U.S. 384, 397 (2007), the
United States Supreme Court held that "the statute of
limitations upon a § 1983 claim seeking damages for a
false arrest 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." The Court observed that "[f]alse arrest
and false imprisonment overlap; the former is a species of
the latter." Id. at 388. The Court instructed
that where, as here, "a plaintiff files a false arrest
claim before he has been convicted (or files any other claim
related to rulings that will likely be made in a pending or
anticipated criminal trial), it is within the power of the
district court, and in accord with common practice to stay
the civil action until the criminal case or the likelihood of
a criminal case is ended." Id. at 393-94.
Otherwise, the Court and the parties are left to
"speculate about whether a prosecution will be brought,
whether it will result in a conviction, and whether the
impending civil action will impugn that verdict, all this at
a time when it can hardly be known what evidence the
prosecution has in its possession." Id. at 393
(internal citation omitted).
5, 2017, plaintiff was arraigned in Cape Girardeau County
Court, and charged with one count of first degree robbery and
one count of armed criminal action. See State v.
Stamps, No. 17CG-CR00356-01 (32nd Judicial Circuit, Cape
Girardeau). Plaintiffs case is still pending in Cape
Girardeau County Circuit Court, and the next hearing date is
scheduled for April 16, 2018.
plaintiff does not specifically assert a claim for false
arrest, he asserts § 1983 claims for illegal seizure,
failure to conduct an adequate investigation, "unlawful
pretrial detention, " substantive due process violations
of his right to be free of illegal restraint, and conspiracy.
These claims relate to rulings that "will likely be made
in a pending or anticipated criminal trial."
Id. The principles of Wallace v. Koto
dictate that further consideration of plaintiffs § 1983
claims should be stayed until the underlying criminal matter
against plaintiff has been resolved through state criminal
proceedings. See, e.g., Vonneedo v. Dennis, No.
1:17-CV-183 NAB, 2017 WL 5904005, at *2 (E.D. Mo. Nov. 30,
2017) (staying § 1983 case alleging ...