United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on review of pro se plaintiff
Brian Hoffmann's amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2). For the reasons discussed below, the Court
will order plaintiff to file a second 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. To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 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 allegation”).
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 currently an inmate at the Moberly Correctional Center
(MCC) in Moberly, Missouri. On May 23, 2018, he filed a civil
rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, naming
eleven separate defendants. (Docket No. 1). The complaint did
not indicate the capacity in which defendants were sued.
original complaint, plaintiff accused defendants of
deliberate indifference to his medical needs as the recipient
of a kidney transplant. Specifically, he alleged that there
was a delay in dealing with his elevated potassium levels,
which led to an enlarged heart. He also claimed that he was
infected with Hepatitis C, likely from improper sanitation of
the dialysis machine.
November 8, 2018, the Court ordered plaintiff to file an
amended complaint. (Docket No. 6). The Court noted that
plaintiff's assertions regarding the condition of his
kidney and heart were serious. However, the complaint
plaintiff filed was deficient. In particular, the Court
observed that plaintiff's allegations were broad and
nonspecific as to the roles and actions of the various
defendants, and that several defendants were not mentioned at
all in his statement of claim. When plaintiff did name a
defendant, his allegations tended to be vague and conclusory.
The Court further noted that plaintiff had not indicated the
capacity in which defendants were sued. As such, there was a
presumption that plaintiff was suing defendants in their
official capacities only. However, he had not provided any
facts to support official capacity liability.
Court directed plaintiff to file an amended complaint
according to the instructions set forth in the order.
Plaintiff complied by filing an amended complaint on January
28, 2019. (Docket No. 10).
amended complaint is handwritten on a Court-provided 42
U.S.C. § 1983 form. He names the following eleven
defendants: Missouri Department of Corrections Director Anne
Precythe; MCC Warden Dean Minor; Corizon Medical Service
Administrator Bonnie Boley; Dr. William Winklemeyer; Nurse
Jenna Williams; Farmington Correctional Center (FCC) Warden
Thomas Villmer; Dr. Robert Wudell; Nurse Practitioner Dana
Jost; Corizon Medical Director Lisa Spain; Corizon Medical
Services; and the Missouri Department of Corrections. (Docket
No. 10 at 15-17). With the exception of Corizon and the
Missouri Department of Corrections, the defendants are sued
in both their individual and official capacities.
claims that defendants have been deliberately indifferent to
his medical needs by denying the necessary prescribed
treatment for a kidney transplant recipient. (Docket No. 10
at 4). He also asserts that he has been denied services as a
qualified person with a disability, in violation of the
Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§
12101, et seq.
states that during the months of November and December 2015,
while incarcerated at FCC, he was sent on court outcounts to
Buchanan County. When he arrived back at FCC in January, he
went to medical to meet with Nurse Practitioner Dana Jost.
(Docket No. 10 at 5-6). Nurse Practitioner Jost advised him
that his creatine levels were extremely high, meaning that
his kidney was in rejection. (Docket No. 10 at 6). She
advised him that ...