United States District Court, E.D. Missouri
DESHAWN ST. CLAIR, Plaintiff,
SCHNUCKS CULINARIA, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
W. SIPPEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff
DeShawn St. Clair for leave to commence this action without
prepayment of the filing fee. Having reviewed plaintiff's
financial information, the Court will grant the motion. In
addition, the Court will allow plaintiff the opportunity to
submit an amended complaint.
Standard on Initial Review
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
brings this action against Schnucks Culinaria, located at 315
North Ninth Street in St. Louis, Missouri, for malicious
prosecution, defamation, and false imprisonment. For his
statement of his claim, plaintiff states in full:
Simply put, defamation of character refers to a false
statement communicated to a third-party, which ultimately
causes damage an[d] harm to my reputation. Falsely imprisoned
due to false accusations without a legal or lawful arrest.
relief, plaintiff seeks $12, 000 in punitive damages.
Plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim on which
relief may be granted because it states merely a legal
definition followed by a legal conclusion. Plaintiff has not
alleged any facts underlying or supporting his statement of
the claim. Under the federal rules, a complaint must contain
“a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2). A complaint will not suffice if it tenders bare
assertions devoid of “further factual
enhancement.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 The Court
cannot conduct an initial review of plaintiff's complaint
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) without any statement of the
underlying facts supporting his claim. As stated on the
complaint form, plaintiff's statement of the claim must
include all of the following information: what happened to
you, when did it happen, where did it happen, what injuries
did you suffer, and what did each defendant personally do, or
fail to do, to harm you?
plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court will allow him to
file an amended complaint. Plaintiff is warned that the
filing of an amended complaint replaces the original
complaint, and so it must include all claims plaintiff wishes
to bring. E.g., In re Wireless Tele. Fed. Cost
Recovery Fees Litig., 396 F.3d 922, 928 (8th Cir. 2005).
Plaintiff must submit the amended complaint on a
court-provided form, and the amended complaint must comply
with Rules 8 and 10 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
“Statement of Claim” section, plaintiff should
state in separate, numbered paragraphs, the specific factual
allegations supporting his claim or claims against defendant,
as well as the right or rights that defendant violated.
Plaintiff's failure to make specific and actionable
factual allegations against defendant will result in that
defendant's dismissal from this case.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's
motion to proceed in forma ...