United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
G. FLEISSIG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on the motion of plaintiff
Michael Schmaltz for leave to commence this civil action
without prepayment of the required filing fee. (Docket No.
2). Having reviewed the financial information submitted in
support, the Court finds that the motion should be granted.
Additionally, for the reasons discussed below, plaintiff will
be directed to show cause why his complaint should not be
dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
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. To state a claim, a plaintiff must demonstrate a
plausible claim for relief, which is more than a “mere
possibility of misconduct.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). “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 upon judicial experience
and common sense. Id. at 679. The court must
“accept as true the facts alleged, but not legal
conclusions or threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause
of action, supported by mere conclusory statements.”
Barton v. Taber, 820 F.3d 958, 964 (8th
Cir. 2016). See also Brown v. Green Tree Servicing
LLC, 820 F.3d 371, 372-73 (8th Cir. 2016)
(stating that court must accept factual allegations in
complaint as true, but is not required to “accept as
true any legal conclusion couched as a factual
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). A
“liberal construction” means that if the essence
of an allegation is discernible, the district court should
construe the plaintiff's complaint in a way that permits
his or her claim to be considered within the proper legal
framework. Solomon v. Petray, 795 F.3d 777, 787
(8th Cir. 2015). However, 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) (stating that 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. United States, 508
U.S. 106, 113 (1993).
is a pro se litigant who brings this civil action against
defendants Alacious McKissic and Elma McBroom. Defendant
McKissic is the apartment manager at the Stamping Lofts in
St. Louis, Missouri. (Docket No. 1 at 2). Defendant McBroom
is an “alleged caseworker” at the St.
Patrick's Center. (Docket No. 1 at 3). He states that his
case arises under 18 U.S.C. § 241 - Conspiracy against
rights. (Docket No. 1 at 4).
states that on October 22, 2018, he reported a rodent
infestation to defendant McKissic. (Docket No. 1 at 7). He
informed McKissic that the rodents had caused him to fall and
hurt himself. He states that McKissic responded by
threatening to throw plaintiff out of the building because
plaintiff had damaged apartment property. Plaintiff asserts
that the unspecified property damage he caused was his
“first negative incident” during his tenancy at
Stamping Lofts. He further asserts that McKissic “went
on a rampage, ” and that she threatened and harassed
him. He states that he was scared and called the police. Two
officers responded to his call, but they advised him
“that they had no jurisdiction over the matter.”
(Docket No. 1 at 7-8).
this incident, plaintiff states that he was “harassed
and threatened for a period of three months” by unnamed
staff and tenants. (Docket No. 1 at 8). Plaintiff alleges
that defendant McKissic “later used this incident to
have [him] illegally evicted from [his] apartment.” He
states that the harassment and threats by the Stamping Lofts
staff caused him to suffer brain seizures.
the morning of October 23, 2018, defendants McKissic and
McBroom knocked on plaintiff's apartment door. Plaintiff
states that he was in the shower, that his bathroom door was
open, and that his bathroom door is directly adjacent to the
apartment's front door.
and McBroom “announced that they were entering the
apartment, ” and plaintiff advised them that he was in
the shower. (Docket No. 1 at 9). He told them to call and
make an appointment. Nonetheless, McKissic and McBroom stated
they were coming inside. Plaintiff alleges that they
“illegally unlocked [his] door and barged into the
room, ” even though he was naked. Moreover, when
McKissic opened the door, she knocked over a table, causing
damage to his laptop computer, his notebook computer, his
cell phone, and a recovery CD.
McKissic and McBroom entered the apartment, plaintiff called
911. Eventually, two St. Louis police officers arrived.
Plaintiff told the officers he was running late for a medical
appointment, so they told him that they would leave a report
number and their names at the front desk. However, plaintiff
states he never received these.
claims that defendant McKissic used her “master key to
illegally enter [his] apartment several times before and
after this incident.” (Docket No. 1 at 10). This caused
him undue panic and stress. He states that the St. Louis
Police, the St. Louis County Sheriff's Department, and
the Elder Abuse hotlines were not “able or willing to
October 29, 2018, at approximately 5:00 p.m., front desk
personnel at Stamping Lofts granted “two St. Louis
deputies” access to his apartment without a warrant.
Plaintiff alleges that defendant McBroom had ordered him
placed into a psychiatric facility “purely to
harass” him. He asked the deputies for a warrant or an
order signed by a judge. When the deputies could not produce
such a document, plaintiff advised them that they were in his
apartment illegally and asked them to leave. At this point,
plaintiff claims that “the deputies became agitated and
violent.” He further alleges that they “assaulted
[him] with mace and physical force, ...