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Krauss v. Holcomb

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division

May 15, 2018

PAUL WAYNE KRAUSS, Plaintiff,
v.
JAY HOLCOMB, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          RONNIE L. WHITE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff, a prisoner, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Having reviewed plaintiffs financial information, the Court assesses a partial initial filing fee of $52.30, which is twenty percent of his average monthly deposit. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b).

         Standard of Review

         Under 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.

         When 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.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Named as defendants are Jay Holcomb, Faith [Unknown], Brent Douglas, Brandon Caid, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the Mississippi County Detention Center. Plaintiff states that he sues all defendants in their official and individual capacities.

         Plaintiffs claim, in its entirety, states:

Violating my 1st 4th 6th 14th Amendments. Illegally trying to obtain evidence, Illegal search and seizure, not being able to grieve my claims, cruel and unusual punishment, officers breaking the law commit a crime to obtain evidence.
Plaintiff seeks money damages of $1, 000, 000 "to life, home and employment."

         Discussion

         Civil 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. The 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 v. Harry, 364 F.3d 914-15 (8th Cir. 2004) (Court is not required to "assume facts that are not alleged, just because an additional factual allegation would have formed a stronger complaint.").

         Plaintiff has alleged no facts that would support his claim of constitutional violations. He states in conclusory fashion that his First, Fourth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights have been violated, presumably by an illegal search and seizure. He alleges no facts that would implicate any defendant in this illegal search and seizure, and no facts that would support his allegation that the search and seizure was illegal. These allegations do not state a claim against any defendant because liability under § 1983 requires a causal link to, and direct responsibility for, the alleged deprivation of rights. See 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 injured him). Having liberally construed the complaint, the Court concludes that it is subject to dismissal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         Although this case will be dismissed on the grounds stated above, the Court notes that plaintiff has pending state and federal cases arising out of his October 3, 2017 arrest by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. He has two outstanding charges in the Circuit Court for Mississippi County for unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of controlled substance. See State v. Krauss, No. 17MI-CR00592-01 (Mississippi County Circuit Court). Then on December 21, 2017, he was indicted on federal charges ...


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