United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr. 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'dS26 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Wood, 111 F.3d 135 (8th Cir. 1997) (unpublished);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 plaintiffs 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 Patrick D. Dignam,
the presiding judge in Brentwood Municipal Division Court, to
complain about the disposition of plaintiffs traffic case.
Plaintiff alleges the City of Brentwood charged him with
violating ordinance 370.040 for failing to dim his
headlights. Plaintiff states that his headlights were not on
at the time the citation was issued. It appears from the
complaint and attached pictures, however, that plaintiffs
"auxiliary lights," i.e., neon car under
glow or light bar, were operating. (ECF No. 1-1 at 17-21).
alleges that Judge Dignam "convicted me 'Nulla poena
sine lege' which is defined; 'A legal principle,
requiring that one cannot be punished for doing something
that is not prohibited by law.'" Plaintiff attaches
to his complaint nearly thirty pages of "constitutional
case law," statutory definitions, information about
photometers, and pictures of vehicles with auxiliary
lighting. Plaintiff seeks a total of $4.8 million in damages.
Court finds that plaintiffs in forma pauperis application
should be denied and this action should be dismissed because
the complaint is frivolous. 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 Dignam 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 it is part of a pattern of abusive and
repetitious lawsuits. See Horsey, 741 F.2d at 213.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is
DENIED. [ECF No. 2]
IS FURTHER ORDERED that this case is
DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(i). A separate order ...