United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
KELVIN C. THOMPSON, Plaintiff,
ST. LOUIS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CATHERINE D. PERRY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff
Kelvin C. Thompson for leave to proceed in forma pauperis in
this civil action. Upon consideration of the motion and the
financial information provided in support, the Court
concludes that plaintiff is unable to pay the filing fee. The
motion will therefore be granted. Additionally, the Court
will dismiss the complaint.
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 may be
granted. An action is frivolous if it “lacks an
arguable basis in either law or fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328 (1989). An action fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted if it does not
plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
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.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). 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 assume the
veracity of well-pleaded facts, but need not accept as true
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements.”
Id. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at
Court must liberally construe complaints filed by laypeople.
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). This
means that “if the essence of an allegation is
discernible, ” the court should “construe the
complaint in a way that permits the layperson's claim to
be considered within the proper legal framework.”
Solomon v. Petray, 795 F.3d 777, 787 (8th Cir. 2015)
(quoting Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th Cir.
2004)). However, even pro se complaints must 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). Federal courts are not required to assume facts that
are not alleged, Stone, 364 F.3d at 914-15, nor are
they required to interpret procedural rules so as to excuse
mistakes by those who proceed without counsel. See McNeil
v. United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993).
brings this action against the St. Louis Metropolitan Police
Department. He invokes this Court's federal question
jurisdiction, and states he brings his case pursuant to Title
VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title II of the Americans
with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Rehabilitation Act, 18
U.S.C. §§ 241-242, 245, Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act, The Civil Rights Act of 1866 (§ 1981), and
34 U.S.C. § 12601.
plaintiff alleges that police officers failed to make a
police report after plaintiff reported that a woman hit his
car and harassed and stalked him and/or his daughter. He
characterizes the refusal to make a police report as a
“blatant example of racial discrimination, civil rights
violations, and of Police bonding together and conspiring to
deny every citizen's right to be protected and fairly
treated.” He states he believes that if he were a white
person making the same allegations, a police report would
have been made. He asks that the Department of Justice and
this Court “reprimand, fire, fine and punish all the
racist, rogue, police officers in the St. Louis Metropolitan
Police Department, ” and he seeks “$100, 000 in
actual damages and $1, 000, 000 million in punitive
carefully reviewed and liberally construed the complaint, the
Court concludes that it must be dismissed. Plaintiff states
he brings this action pursuant to various federal statutes.
However, none are availing. There is no indication plaintiff
had an employment relationship with the defendant or any
person mentioned in the complaint; therefore Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act is inapplicable. Plaintiff does not allege
he suffers from a disability, nor does he set forth
non-conclusory allegations that he is a member of a protected
class or that the defendant purposefully and intentionally
discriminated against him because of his race, color or
national origin. Therefore, the ADA, Title VI of the Civil
Rights Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and § 1981 are
unavailing. Additionally, plaintiff is alleging that state
actors violated his civil rights. Therefore, his exclusive
federal damages remedy lies in 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Jett v. Dallas Independent School Dist., 491 U.S.
701, 731-32 (1989) (Section 1983 provides the exclusive
federal damages remedy for the violation of rights guaranteed
by § 1981 when the alleged violation is by a state
actor). There is no private right of action under 34 U.S.C.
§ 12601, as only the Attorney General may bring a civil
action under that statute. Horde v. Elliot, 2018 WL
987683 (D. Minn. Jan. 9, 2018). Similarly, 18 U.S.C.
§§ 241-242 and 245 are criminal statutes that
provide no basis for any private cause of action. See
U.S. v. Wadena, 152 F.3d 831, 846 (8th Cir. 1998)
(“Courts have repeatedly held that there is no private
right of action under [18 U.S.C.] § 241 . . .”);
Cok v. Cosentino, 876 F.2d 1, 2 (1st Cir. 1989)
(stating that only a United States prosecutor can bring a
complaint under 18 U.S.C. §§ 241-242); Roberson
v. Pearson, 2012 WL 4128303, *1 (D. Minn. 2012) (18
U.S.C. § 245 is a federal criminal statute that does not
provide for a private right of action).
Court has considered whether plaintiff has stated a viable
claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and concludes he has not.
Plaintiff has named the St. Louis Metropolitan Police
Department as the sole defendant. However, the St. Louis
Metropolitan Police Department is not an entity that can be
sued under § 1983. See Ketchum v. City of West
Memphis, Ark., 974 F.2d 81, 82 (1992) (entities such as
police departments are “not juridical entities suable
as such. They are simply departments or subdivisions of the
City government”); see also De La Garza v.
Kandiyohi County Jail, 18 Fed.Appx. 436, 437 (8th Cir.
2001) (sheriff's departments and police departments are
not usually considered legal entities subject to suit under
§ 1983). Additionally, plaintiff's allegations would
not state a claim of municipal liability. See Monell v.
Dept. of Social Services of City of New York, 436 U.S.
658, 690-91 (1978).
final matter, the Court notes that the allegations in the
complaint are duplicative of allegations plaintiff set forth
in a supplement to a complaint he filed against this same
defendant in an earlier action. See Thompson v. St. Louis
Metropolitan Police, No. 4:19-CV-2139-SRC. There, the
Court considered the supplement as part of the complaint, and
dismissed the action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). While the dismissal of the earlier action
“does not bar future litigation over the merits of a
paid complaint making the same allegations as the dismissed
complaint, ” a § 1915(e)(2)(B) dismissal
“has res judicata effect ‘on frivolousness
determinations for future in forma pauperis
petitions.'” Waller v. Groose, 38 F.3d
1007, 1008 (8th Cir. 1994) (per curiam) (citing Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25 (1992)); see also Cooper v.
Delo, 997 F.2d 376, 377 (8th Cir. 1993) (§ 1915(e)
dismissal has res judicata effect on future IFP petitions).
Accordingly, this Court determines the § 1915(e)(2)(B)
dismissal of Thompson v. St. Louis Metropolitan
Police, No. 4:19-CV-2139-SRC has res judicata effect and
establishes that this subsequent and nearly identical
complaint against the same defendant is frivolous for §
1915(e) purposes. The complaint is subject to dismissal on
this basis, as well.
of the foregoing reasons, this case will be dismissed
pursuant to ...