United States District Court, E.D. Missouri
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. HAMILTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is plaintiff Corey Fondren's third amended
complaint. After reviewing the third amended complaint in its
entirety, the Court will partially dismiss the third amended
complaint and will issue process on the non-frivolous
portions of the complaint.
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. A pleading that offers “labels and
conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do, ” nor will a
complaint suffice if it tenders bare assertions devoid of
“further factual enhancement.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
conducting initial review pursuant to § 1915(e)(2), the
Court must accept as true the allegations in the complaint,
and must give the complaint the benefit of a liberal
construction. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520
(1972). However, the tenet that a court must accept the
allegations as true does not apply to legal conclusions,
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, and 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). 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”).
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging
violations of his civil rights during his arrest on June 3,
2017. In his third amended pleading, plaintiff names three
St. Louis County Police Officers as defendants in this
action: Michael White; Unknown (Female) Saul; and Unknown
Mason. Plaintiff states that he is suing defendants in both
their official and individual capacities. Plaintiff is
asserting that the defendant officers used excessive force
during the course of his arrest on June 3, 2017.
alleges that he was handcuffed in a yard in Florissant,
Missouri in June 2017 by Officer Unknown Mason. He claims
that Mason “sat on top of [his] back and applied
pressure to [his] elbow trying to break it.” He claims
that he suffered a bruise to his right elbow with pain going
all the way down to his hand for approximately one month.
asserts that while he was handcuffed with his hands behind
his back, laying down, Officer Saul, a female St. Louis
County Officer, used a lighter to burn his thumb “for
over 10 seconds.” Plaintiff states that he received a
permanent blister on his thumb as a result this force.
additionally alleges that while he was handcuffed with his
hands behind his back, laying down, Officer Michael White
used his right foot to kick him in the head. Plaintiff states
that he suffered a bruise to his left eye and was unable to
see for weeks out of it as a result of Officer White's
seeks monetary damages in his third amended complaint.
Court believes that plaintiff has alleged enough to survive
initial review on his Fourth Amendment excessive force
claims against defendants Mason, White and Saul in their
individual capacities. The Clerk will be instructed to issue
process or cause process to issue on these claims.
official capacity claims against defendants, however, are
subject to dismissal. Naming a government official in his or
her official capacity is the equivalent of naming the
government entity that employs the official. Will v.
Michigan Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71
(1989). To state a claim against a municipality or a
government official in his or her official capacity,
plaintiff must allege that a policy or custom of the
government entity is responsible for the alleged
constitutional violation. Monell v. Dep't of Social
Services, 436 U.S. 658, 690-91 (1978). The instant
complaint does not contain any allegations that a policy or
custom of St. Louis County was responsible for the alleged
violations of ...