United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
CHRISTOPHER J. POTTER, Plaintiff,
NICHOLAS LINEBACK, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
G. FLEISSIG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon plaintiff Christopher J.
Potter's motion to reopen this action, and file a second
amended complaint. (ECF No. 23). For the reasons explained
below, the motion will be granted, and plaintiff will be
given 30 days to file a second amended complaint.
background of this case is fully set forth in the prior
orders of this Court. However, following is a brief
recitation. Plaintiff, a prisoner, initiated this action on
February 8, 2018 by filing a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. At that time, he was a defendant in three
pending state court criminal cases. Following initial review,
the Court entered an order dismissing some defendants from
the case and staying the action as to plaintiff's Fourth
Amendment claims against the remaining defendants, pursuant
to the principles dictated in Wallace v. Kato, 549
U.S. 384 (2007). Briefly, plaintiff alleged he was illegally
seized, a police report had been falsified to effect his
arrest, and his truck was illegally searched.
instant motion and supplemental document, plaintiff advises
that all three of his state court criminal cases have been
adjudicated, in that he was convicted in one case and entered
Alford pleas in the other two cases. At present, plaintiff is
in the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections, and
resides at the South Central Correctional Center. Having
reviewed the motion and the state court judicial records
relating to plaintiff's state court criminal matters, the
Court has determined to grant plaintiff's request to
reopen this action and his request for permission to file a
second amended complaint.
is warned that the second amended complaint will replace the
amended complaint. See In re Wireless Telephone Federal
Cost Recovery Fees Litigation, 396 F.3d 922, 928 (8th
Cir. 2005). Plaintiff must type or neatly print the second
amended complaint on the Court's prisoner civil rights
complaint form, which will be provided to him. See
E.D. Mo. L.R. 45 - 2.06(A) (“All actions brought by pro
se plaintiffs or petitioners should be filed on
“Caption” section of the complaint form,
plaintiff should write the name of each party he intends to
sue. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(a) (“The title of
the complaint must name all the parties”). Plaintiff
must avoid naming anyone as a defendant unless he or she is
directly related to his claim. Plaintiff must also specify
the capacity in which he intends to sue each defendant. In
the “Statement of Claim” section, plaintiff
should begin by writing the defendant's name. In
separate, numbered paragraphs under that name, plaintiff
should set forth a short and plain statement of the facts
that support his claim or claims against that defendant.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Each averment must be
simple, concise, and direct. See Id. Plaintiff must
state his claims in numbered paragraphs, and each paragraph
should be “limited as far as practicable to a single
set of circumstances.” See Fed. R. Civ. P.
10(b). If plaintiff names more than one defendant, he should
only include claims that arise from the same transaction or
occurrence, or simply put, claims that are related to each
other. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a)(2). Alternatively,
plaintiff may choose to name a single defendant, and set
forth as many claims as he has against him or her.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 18(a).
important that plaintiff allege facts explaining how each
defendant was personally involved in or directly responsible
for harming him. See Madewell v. Roberts, 909 F.2d
1203, 1208 (8th Cir. 1990). It is not enough for plaintiff to
refer to a group of defendants and make general allegations
against them. Instead, plaintiff must explain the role of
each defendant, so that each defendant will have notice of
what he or she is accused of doing or failing to do. See
Topchian v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 760 F.3d 843, 848
(8th Cir. 2014) (stating that the essential function of a
complaint “is to give the opposing party fair notice of
the nature and basis or grounds for a claim”).
Furthermore, the Court emphasizes that the “Statement
of Claim” requires more than “labels and
conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action.” See Neubauer v. FedEx Corp.,
849 F.3d 400, 404 (8th Cir. 2017). Finally, the Court notes
that, pursuant to the principles dictated in Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994), plaintiff may not
recover damages in a § 1983 suit where the judgment
would necessarily imply the invalidity of his convictions,
continued imprisonment, or sentences unless the convictions
or sentences are reversed, expunged, or called into question
by issuance of a writ of habeas corpus.
has also filed a letter addressed to the Clerk of the Court.
(ECF No. 24). Therein, he states he is “filing this
Injunctive Relief motion” to recover $273, 750 in lost
wages and $125, 000 in attorney's fees “due to
[his] innocence still being fought for” on direct
appeal. He also requests that his truck, which is currently
located at a towing facility in O'Fallon, Missouri, be
towed to his property in Marthasville, Missouri. To the
extent plaintiff's letter can be construed as a motion,
it will be denied. Plaintiff simply demands monetary and
equitable relief without alleging facts that show that his
legal rights were violated and that the relief prayed for is
warranted. Additionally, plaintiff is advised he may not
bring claims before the Court or seek relief from the Court
by filing letters.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion
to reopen and file an amended complaint (ECF No. 23) is
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk shall reopen this
IS FURTHER ORDERED that, within thirty (30) days of
the date of this Memorandum and Order, plaintiff shall file
an amended complaint in accordance with the instructions set
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall
mail to plaintiff a blank Prisoner Civil Rights Complaint
IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiffs motion (ECF No.
24) is DENIED.
plaintiff fails to timely comply with this Memorandum and
Order, the Court will dismiss this action without ...