Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Crawford v. Austin

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

May 16, 2018

JOHN A. CRAWFORD, Plaintiff,
v.
DAMIAN AUSTIN, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          E. RICHARD WEBBER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court upon the filing of an amended complaint by plaintiff John A. Crawford. For the reasons explained below, the Court will dismiss this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         Legal Standard on Initial Review

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court is required to dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis if it is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. An action is frivolous if it “lacks an arguable basis in either law or fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328 (1989). An action is malicious if it is undertaken for the purpose of harassing the named defendants and not for the purpose of vindicating a cognizable right. Spencer v. Rhodes, 656 F.Supp. 458, 461-63 (E.D. N.C. 1987), aff'd 826 F.2d 1059 (4th Cir. 1987). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).

         To determine whether an action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the Court must engage in a two-step inquiry. First, the Court must identify the allegations in the complaint that are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). These include “legal conclusions” and “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action [that are] supported by mere conclusory statements.” Id. at 678. Second, the Court must determine whether the complaint states a plausible claim for relief. Id. at 679. This is a “context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id.

         The plaintiff is required to plead facts that show more than the “mere possibility of misconduct.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. The Court must review the factual allegations in the complaint “to determine if they plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief.” Id. at 681. When faced with alternative explanations for the alleged misconduct, the Court may exercise its judgment in determining whether plaintiff's proffered conclusion is the most plausible or whether it is more likely that no misconduct occurred. Id. at 680-82.

         Pro se complaints are to be liberally construed, Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976), but they still must allege facts which, if true, state a claim for relief as a matter of law. Martin v. Aubuchon, 623 F.2d 1282, 1286 (8th Cir. 1980). The Court must weigh all factual allegations in favor of the plaintiff, unless the facts alleged are clearly baseless. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32 (1992). Federal courts are 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).

         Background

         Plaintiff initiated this civil action by filing a complaint in this Court on July 17, 2017. He sought and was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. In the complaint, plaintiff named two individuals as defendants and claimed various forms of wrongdoing, including being placed in disciplinary segregation, being forced to wait too long to use the bathroom, being retaliated against, being issued a conduct violation, and not receiving a response to grievances. Plaintiff set forth his claims in conclusory fashion instead of alleging facts showing what each defendant did to violate his federally-protected rights, and he included so much extraneous information that it was difficult to discern his claims. Subsequently, plaintiff filed a motion indicating his intention to file an amended complaint. In light of plaintiff's motion and the fact that the original complaint was subject to dismissal, the Court entered an order directing him to file an amended complaint. Therein, the Court set forth clear instructions about how plaintiff should prepare the amended complaint. Among other things, the Court clearly instructed plaintiff that he must comply with Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, that if he named more than one defendant he should include only claims that were related, and that he must allege facts showing what each defendant did to violate his rights. Plaintiff subsequently filed an amended complaint, which the Court now reviews pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915.

         The Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff filed the amended complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against thirty-five defendants, ten of whom are unknown. Plaintiff enumerates six claims for relief, stemming from unrelated events beginning in 2014 and continuing as plaintiff was transferred to various institutions within the Missouri Department of Corrections. As with the original complaint, the amended complaint contains a great deal of extraneous information and legally conclusory statements. The Court will address each of plaintiff's enumerated claims.

         Discussion

         A. Claim One

         Claim One is titled “deliberate indifference to medical needs in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments; denial of services to a qualified person with a disability under 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq. Title II of the ADA; Denial of substantive right to healthcare from the Department of Veterans' Affairs VAMC, Columbia, Mo, violating 38 U.S.C. § 1710.” (Docket No. 15 at 9). In support, plaintiff alleges “the doctors of Corizon Healthcare Inc.” are falsifying records to justify denial of prescribed treatment, and “MDOC, ADA coordinators” are denying him proper bedding. Id. Plaintiff lists the names of doctors from Missouri Department of Corrections' facilities in which he was housed, and states they denied proper care and access to a specialist. He refers to “unknown ADA coordinators” at three different institutions, and states that they failed to perform fiduciary duties. Id. at 11-12. He claims “the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.