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Moore v. Gregory

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

May 17, 2018

QUINTAYUS D. MOORE, Plaintiff,
v.
JOSHUA GREGORY, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JEAN C. HAMILTON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff, Quintayus D. Moore, an inmate at the 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 $1.00. 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.

         Background

         Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 asserting violations of his Fourth Amendment rights against illegal search and seizure. He states that on January 26, 2018[1], he and a friend by the name of John Brown, were staying the night in the Twin House Inn in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He claims that Brown took “some pills” and lay down to go to sleep. Plaintiff alleges that around thirty minutes after Brown went to sleep, plaintiff noticed that Brown was “wet” and he tried to wake Brown up. Plaintiff states that his friend was “unresponsive” and was “bleeding from the nose.” Plaintiff claims that he feared for his friend's safety and as a result, he contacted the Cape Girardeau Police Department.

         Plaintiff asserts that Officer Evans of the Cape Girardeau Police Department responded to his call and that when he came to the door at the Inn he knocked and then “opened the door” and “told [plaintiff] to back up and stay where [he] was.” Plaintiff claims that Officer Gregory arrived shortly after, and he asked plaintiff what happened. Plaintiff alleges that he told Officer Gregory that he believed Brown had ingested some pills and had possibly overdosed. Plaintiff claims that Gregory asked him if he had any weapons or “anything else on [him]” and plaintiff told him “no.” Plaintiff claims Officer Gregory then asked if he could search plaintiff, and plaintiff again told Officer Gregory “no, not unless you have a search warrant.” Plaintiff asserts that despite the fact that he had not given Officer Gregory consent to search, Gregory searched plaintiff and found $401 in cash on his person, as well as two small plastic bags of pills that contained Alprazolam and Clonazepam.

         Plaintiff states that after the unlawful search, he was then read his Miranda rights by Officer Gregory and asked about the pills in his possession. Plaintiff asserts that he told Officer Gregory that the pills belonged to Brown and that he found the pills in Brown's pockets when he was attempting to revive him. Plaintiff told Officer Gregory that he believed Brown had taken Xanax. Officer Gregory told plaintiff that he was going to be placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance, and plaintiff asserted that he had been merely acting as a Good Samaritan, meaning that he could not be prosecuted under Missouri law.[2] Despite plaintiff's assertions, he was arrested and charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance on January 26, 2018. See State v. Moore, No. 18CG-CR0143 (32nd Judicial Circuit, Cape Girardeau County). A formal arraignment on the complaint was done on January 29, 2018. Id.

         Officer Gregory issued the probable cause statement on January 26, 2018. See State v. Moore, No. 18CG-CR0143 (32nd Judicial Circuit, Cape Girardeau County). In his statement, under oath, Officer Gregory asserts that at approximately 1:02 a.m., he responded to the Town House Inn in reference to an overdose.

Upon my arrival I observed Ptlm Evans kneeling down providing chest compressions to the male who was overdosing and was unresponsive (John E. Brown). As I walked up the stairs to enter the room a black male exited the room where Brown was possibly overdosing. The black male was later identified as Moore. I ran Moore through communications which they replied he had a no bond warrant for probation violation - robbery.
I asked Moore if he had any weapons or illegal contraband on his person which he stated he did not and allowed me to search his person. When searching Moore's front left pocket of his jeans, I retrieved 2 plastic baggies of pills (1 bag of blue pills and 1 bag of pink pills). The baggie of pink pills had 6 full pills and multiple broken pills of Alprazolam which is a Schedule IV controlled substance.
The baggie of blue pills contained 5 full pills of Clonazepam, which is a Schedule IV controlled substance.
I also retrieved $401 from the same pocket. The money was broken down into small denominations of $20s, $10s, $5s and $1s, which through my training and experience is commonly used for the distribution of illegal drugs.
While on scene Moore was read his rights per the Miranda Warning, where he stated he understood his rights and agreed to answer my questions. Moore advised the pills were “Xanax.” Moore stated he had the money along with the pills because he was paying for the hotel room. The interview was recorded with my department issued recording device.
Moore is on parole for Robbery 2nd, Burglary 1st, and Burglary 2nd.
The above statement is a probable cause statement which only states the probable cause which was present to affect the arrest on Quintayus D. ...

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