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Brown v. Barnes-Jewish Hospital

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

April 22, 2019

OBED BROWN, Plaintiff,
BARNES-JEWISH HOSPITAL, et al., Defendants.



         This matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff, Obed Brown, for leave to commence this action without payment of the required filing fee.[1] After reviewing plaintiff's motion and supporting financial affidavit, the Court finds that she does not have sufficient funds to pay the filing fee. The Court will grant plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Based upon a review of the complaint, however, the Court finds that the complaint should be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         Legal Standard on Initial Review

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), 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, 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 draw on its judicial experience and common sense. Id. at 679.

         When reviewing a complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court accepts the well-pled facts as true. Furthermore, the Court liberally construes the allegations.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff's complaint alleges defendants Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Drs. Ludwig Trillo Alvarez and Shawgi Silver violated her civil rights by “false imprisonment/involuntary servitude/human trafficking 18 U.S.C. § 1581 and assault with substance abuse by forcing me to take sedative-hypnotic prescription drugs under duress, coercion and intimidation.” ECF No. 1 at 5. Alternately, she describes her action as one for damages for “medical battery/malpractice, assault, intentional torture (tort crime law), fraud, privacy invasion (HIPPA & GINA) & obstruction of justice for participating in an organized police entrapment operation.” Id. at 8. Plaintiff cites, among others, federal criminal statutes 18 U.S.C. § 1610 (nonexistent); 18 U.S.C. § 351(e) (assault of a member of Congress, member of executive branch, Justice of the United States, etc.); 18 U.S.C. § 1581 (peonage); and Missouri state statutes involving fraud and forgery, and medical records billing. Id. at 8-9.

         Plaintiff's action arises out of a 96-Hour Detention, Evaluation and Treatment, and Warrant (Mental Health) signed by Missouri Probate Judge Michael Mullin. See ECF 1-1. The 96-hour hold was ordered based on an application for hold filed by Sergeant Sally Panzer of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.[2] Plaintiff filed as exhibits to her complaint the application for the 96-hour hold, a portion of Sgt. Panzer's affidavit, and an affidavit of Dr. Silver. Id.

         In his affidavit, Dr. Silver states:

Per chart, patient has been assigned diagnoses of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and gender dysphoria disorder, reportedly untreated. Patient is hyperverbal and evasive on exam with evidence of delusions of persecution and a sustained delusion regarding a civil law suit which patient refuses to elaborate on, believing that it is the cause of the FBI and police department's persecution. Patient demonstrates disorganized behavior in the form of living in her car despite supportive family members. Patient has made repeated death threats towards specific people via social media including facebook and twitter. The aforementioned is consistent with a diagnosis of unspecified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders. Patient is highly guarded and evasive on examination, refusing to disclose rationale for making threats towards specific individuals on social media. Patient denies making such threats, thereby demonstrating mendacity and other duplicitous statements when asked about psychiatric history. Therefore, it is uncertain at this time how much of a threat towards specific individuals patient currently presents. The aforementioned support the belief that the respondent presents an unacceptably high possibility of serious harm to others.

ECF 1-1 at 3.

         To make sense of the allegations in the current case, the Court notes that plaintiff has an employment discrimination case pending in this Court against her former employer, Express Scripts. See Brown v. Express Scripts, No. 4:17-CV-866-HEA (filed Mar. 9, 2017). Plaintiff is proceeding pro se in her employment discrimination case, which is set for trial May 20, 2019.

         In the current case, Plaintiff alleges that, because she refused to sign an authorization form for her medical records in her employment discrimination suit, Express Scripts:

committed civil/criminal conspiracy with the police because there was no medical necessity to invade my privacy under the 4th and 5th Amendments to the United States Constitution. That's why Sally Panzer did the medical necessity fraudulently. MD Trillo Alvarez, Ludwig, Shawgi, Silver, MD and their medical teams ...

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