United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
NANNETIE A. BAKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon review of the complaint filed
by pro se plaintiff Brian Bullock. Plaintiff, a
prisoner at the Fulton Reception and Diagnostic Center
(“FRDC”) in Missouri, filed his civil rights
complaint in the District of Arizona on December 4, 2018, and
it was transferred to this Court on January 29, 2019.
Plaintiff also filed an “Application for Leave to
Proceed In Forma Pauperis, ” which will be construed by
the Court as a motion. ECF No. 2. Having reviewed
plaintiff's financial information, the Court will grant
the motion and allow plaintiff to proceed without payment of
the filing fee. Furthermore, the Court will allow plaintiff
the opportunity to submit an amended complaint.
Standard on Initial Review
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).
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
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.
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).
brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging
violations of his civil rights against five defendants: (1)
the Franklin County Adult Detention Center
(“FCADC”); (2) Steve Pelton (Sheriff at FCADC);
(3) Stacy Carty (Sargent at FCADC); (4) Darren Vest (prisoner
at FCADC); and (5) Jerry Carty (Sargent at FCADC).
Plaintiff's allegations are based on an alleged incident
which occurred on October 11 while he was being held at the
Franklin County Adult Detention Center. After returning to
his cell after video court that day, plaintiff was assaulted
by another inmate, Darren Vest. Plaintiff alleges that Vest
poked him in the eye with his finger and punched him in the
face, breaking his orbital bone. Plaintiff asserts that
defendant Sargents Stacy and Jerry Carty (husband and wife)
denied him access to medical care for seventeen hours after
the assault. Plaintiff states that he has “headaches
all the time since this injury” and right eye pain
relief, plaintiff wants all the criminal charges for which he
is being held dismissed.He also wants 45.5 million dollars in
complaint fails to state a valid claim against any of the
defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
1983 imposes liability on government actors acting under
color of state law. 42 U.S.C. § 1983. “Private
actors may incur section 1983 liability only if they are
willing participants in a joint action with public servants
acting under color of state law.” Johnson v.
Outboard Marine Corp., 172 F.3d 531, 536 (8th Cir.
1999). “[A] plaintiff seeking to hold a private party
liable under § 1983 must allege, at the very least, that
there was a mutual understanding, or a meeting of the minds,
between the private party and the state actor.”
Mershon v. Beasley, 994 F.2d 449, 451 (8th Cir.
1993). Here, plaintiff fails to allege facts sufficient to
give rise to the inference that Darren Vest, as a private
actor, came to a mutual understanding with any state actors
to violate plaintiff's constitutional rights.
defendant FCADC, a detention center is not a suable entity in
a § 1983 action. See White v. Utah, 5 Fed.Appx.
852, 853 (10th Cir. 2001) (“[A] detention facility is
not a person or legally created entity capable of being
sued.”); see also De La Garza v. Kandiyohi Cty.
Jail, Corr. Inst., 18 Fed.Appx. 436 (8th Cir. 2001)