United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROSS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff Clint
Phillips, III, for leave to commence this action without
prepayment of the filing fee. The Court will grant plaintiffs
motion to proceed in forma pauperis. However, after reviewing
plaintiffs complaint, the Court will dismiss the complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), 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 under § 1983, 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, inter alia, draw
upon judicial experience and common sense. Id. at
reviewing a pro se complaint under § 1915(e)(2), the
Court must give it the benefit of a liberal construction.
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). However,
this does not mean that pro se complaints may be
merely conclusory. Even pro se complaints are
required to 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); see also Stone v.
Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914-15 (8th Cir. 2004) (federal
courts are not required to "assume facts that are not
alleged, just because an additional factual allegation would
have formed a stronger complaint"). In addition,
affording a pro se complaint the benefit of a
liberal construction does not mean that procedural rules in
ordinary civil litigation must be interpreted so as to excuse
mistakes by those who proceed without counsel. See McNeil
v. U.S., 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993).
seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 the City of
asserts that he was accosted by unnamed St. Louis City Police
Officers, apparently after his family members called to
report he was schizophrenic and had not been taking his
medications. Plaintiff claims the officers conducted a search
and seizure of him without probable cause and without
reasonable suspicion. He states that while officers were
attempting to handcuff him and civilly commit him he
attempted to evade arrest and they tazed him and restrained
him. He was transported to the police station, where he
alleges the police officers arrested him under "warrants
that were invalid on [their] face." Plaintiff alleges he
was then transported to the St. Louis City Justice Center
where he was held with "unreasonable delay" before
being taken to appear before a Judge in St. Louis City.
additionally asserts that he was held for too long,
"over 20 hours," by unnamed officers without a
probable cause determination, and "denied the
opportunity to post bond. He claims in a conclusory fashion
that these allegations show a "custom or policy" of
the City of St. Louis of both deliberate indifference and
cruel and unusual punishment. Plaintiff also states that
unnamed "prison officials" interfered with his
access to courts" by denying him phone calls to
attorneys or bondsman for over 60 days. And he claims the
unnamed Judge in his case sentenced him over the sentencing
guidelines for his unnamed crime.
seeks compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $10
Court has reviewed Missouri Case.Net, the State of
Missouri's online docketing system. Indeed, plaintiff was
arrested on the afternoon of May 8, 2016, at the site of a
domestic dispute with plaintiffs wife. Plaintiff was
charged with misdemeanor assault and two counts of resisting
arrest. See State v. Phillips, Case No. 1622-CR02100
(22nd Judicial Circuit, City of St. Louis Court).
warrant was served on plaintiff on April 13, 2017, and bond
was set at $2, 500 by Judge Stovall-Reid. Plaintiff did not
post bond and therefore remained in custody until his
sentencing, which occurred on June 19, 2017. On that date, he
was sentenced to six months Suspended Imposition of Sentence
("SIS"), as well as six months Suspended Execution
of Sentence ("SES"). He was then granted
unsupervised probation at that time.
the allegations in the complaint are duplicative of the
allegations plaintiff brought in the case Phillips v.
Unknown St. Louis City Police Officers, No. 4:17-CV-1589
JMB (E.D. Mo. filed May 30, 2017), which the Court dismissed
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). As a result, these
allegations will be dismissed as duplicative. E.g.,
Cooper v. Delo,997 F.2d ...