United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
G. FLEISSIG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court upon the motion of plaintiff
Willie Cox, a/k/a Abbue-Jau, for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis in this civil action. For the reasons explained
below, the motion will be denied, and this case will be
Standard on Initial Review
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court is required to
closely screen cases where, as here, there is an application
to proceed in forma pauperis. The Court may deny a litigant
leave to proceed in forma pauperis and dismiss an action if
it determines that the complaint is frivolous or malicious. A
complaint is frivolous “where it lacks an arguable
basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A complaint is
malicious if it was filed for the purpose of harassing the
named defendant and not for the purpose of vindicating a
cognizable right. Spencer v. Rhodes, 656 F.Supp.
458, 461-63 (E.D. N.C. 1987), aff'd 826 F.2d
1061 (4th Cir. 1987).
considering whether a complaint is malicious, the Court may
refer to objective factors such as the circumstances
surrounding the filing and the nature of the allegations.
Id. Additionally, the Eighth Circuit has recognized
that “malicious” applies to situations where the
complaint is “plainly part of a longstanding pattern of
abusive and repetitious lawsuits.” Horsey v.
Asher, 741 F.2d 209, 213 (8th Cir. 1984), Cooper v.
Wood, 111 F.3d 135 (8th Cir. 1997) (unpublished);
see also In re McDonald, 489 U.S. 180 (1989) (leave
to proceed in forma pauperis can be denied based in part on
prior abusive litigation).
case at bar is one of many interrelated civil rights actions
plaintiff has filed pro se and in forma pauperis in this
Court since September 17, 2019. As of the date of this Memorandum
and Order, all of plaintiff's cases that have been
reviewed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) have been
dismissed for one of the reasons set forth therein. In
Cox v. City of Clayton, 4:19-cv-03091-RLW, the
Honorable Ronnie L. White determined that plaintiff's
repeated filing of frivolous and interrelated lawsuits
amounted to abuse of the judicial process, and cautioned him
that restrictions may be imposed if he continued the
practice. On November 22, 2019, plaintiff began filing
lawsuits seeking damages against the District Judges of this
Court who dismissed his cases.
brings this action against the Honorable Stephen R. Clark to
complain about the dismissal of one of his prior cases,
Cox v. Hulsey, 4:19-cv-2592 SRC (E.D.Mo. Sept. 17,
2019). Plaintiff attached to the complaint a partial copy of
the Memorandum and Order entered in the case by the Honorable
Stephen R. Clark, along with handwritten notations on the
handwritten notes, plaintiff alleges that the Court's
assertion in its Memorandum and Order that he brought his
action against Police Officer Hulsey pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 was fraudulent. Although plaintiff does not
elaborate on this statement. In a later passage, plaintiff
writes that it was also a fraudulent assertion for the Court
to presume that plaintiff was bringing his action against
Officer Hulsey in his official capacity.
with the complaint are pages of language about various legal
topics and definitions, including the words
“traffic” and “fraud.” Plaintiff
seeks several million dollars in damages in this action.
Court finds that plaintiffs in forma pauperis application
should be denied and this action should be dismissed because
the complaint is frivolous and malicious. The complaint is
frivolous because judges generally cannot be sued for
monetary relief based on alleged judicial misconduct, and
nothing in the instant complaint establishes that Judge Clark
acted in the absence of jurisdiction or outside his judicial
capacity. See Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409,
434-35 (1976) (citing Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547
(1967)). The complaint is malicious because it is clear from
the circumstances surrounding the filing and the nature of
the allegations that plaintiff filed the complaint to harass
and disparage Judge Clark for ruling against him, see
Spencer, 656 F.Supp. at 461-63, and because the
complaint is clearly part of a pattern of abusive and
repetitious lawsuits. See Horsey, 741 F.2d at 213.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff s motion
for leave to proceed in forma ...