United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
DEMETRIUS X. RICHMOND, Plaintiff,
MICHAEL T. MINOR, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH; JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on the motion of plaintiff
Demetrius X. Richmond, who is currently incarcerated at St.
Charles County Department of Corrections, for leave to
commence this civil action without prepayment of the filing
fee. Having reviewed the motion, the Court has determined
that plaintiff lacks sufficient funds to pay the entire
filing fee, and will assess an initial partial filing fee of
$53.11. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
Additionally, for the reasons discussed below, the Court will
dismiss plaintiffs official capacity claims without prejudice
but will direct the Clerk of Court to issue process on
defendants in their individual capacities as to plaintiffs
claims of excessive force incident to his arrest.
U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1), a prisoner bringing a civil
action in forma pauperis is required to pay the full amount
of the filing fee. If the prisoner has insufficient funds in
his prison account to pay the entire fee, the Court must
assess and, when funds exist, collect an initial partial
filing fee of 20 percent of the greater of (1) the average
monthly deposits in the prisoner's account, or (2) the
average monthly balance in the prisoner's account for the
prior six-month period. After payment of the initial partial
filing fee, the prisoner is required to make monthly payments
of 20 percent of the preceding month's income credited to
the prisoner's account. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). The
agency having custody of the prisoner will forward these
monthly payments to the Clerk of Court each time the amount
in the prisoner's account exceeds $10.00, until the
filing fee is fully paid. Id.
support of the instant motion, plaintiff has submitted a
certified inmate account statement. (Docket No. 4). The
account statement shows an average monthly deposit of
$265.55. The Court will therefore assess an initial partial
filing fee of $53.11, which is 20 percent of plaintiffs
average monthly deposit.
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
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 plaintiffs 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 (8thCir.
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 a pretrial detainee in the St. Charles County
Department of Corrections. He brings this action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983, naming defendant St. Louis City Police
Officers Michael T. Minor, Archie Shaw, Derrick P. Fryre and
Nijauh J. Woodard. The defendants are sued in both their
official and individual capacities.
states that on December 22, 2016, St. Louis City Police
Officers Minor, Shaw, Fryre and Woodard surrounded his
vehicle after he crashed on Ohio Street in St. Louis City. He
claims that they "pulled him" out of his vehicle,
cuffed him and then started kicking him and punching him in
the face and repeatedly tased him while he was still
handcuffed. Plaintiff claims that after he was assaulted he
was taken to the hospital where doctors took pictures of his
injuries. Plaintiff asserts in a conclusory manner that
"the St. Louis City Police Department has a history of
letting its officers" assault individuals during arrests
even when individuals are not resisting.
is seeking $5 million for nominal damages; $2 million for
compensatory damages; and $5 million for punitive damages.
Plaintiff claims that he now suffers from permanent eye
injuries as well as mental stress.
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging
that St. Louis City Police Officers Minor, Shaw, Fryre and
Woodard used excessive force while arresting him. Having
thoroughly reviewed and liberally construed plaintiffs
complaint, and for the reasons discussed below, the Court
must dismiss plaintiffs official capacity claims. However,
the Court will direct the Clerk of ...