Moon v. Jordan et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF No. 2] is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff's official-capacity claims are DISMISSED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendant John Does 1-15 are DISMISSED without prejudice. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk is directed to serve process on the named defendants in their individual capacities. An Order of Partial Dismissal will be filed separately. Signed by District Judge Ronnie L. White on 9/28/2015. (JMC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
DARNELL WESLY MOON,
JOHN JORDAN, et al.,
No. 1:15CV167 RLW
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this civil action under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S;C. § 2000cc et seq.
The motion is granted.
Standard of Review
Under 28. U.S.C. § 1915(e), 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 for relief under § 1983, a complaint must pfead more than "legal conclusions"
and "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action [that are] supported by mere
. conclusory statements." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
A plaintiff must
demonstrate a plausible claim for relief, whicl;i is more than· a "mere possibility of misconduct."
Id at 679. "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.
At all times relevant to the complaint, plaintiff was confined in the Cape Girardeau
County Jail (the "Jail'} He has since been released.
Defendants are officials at the Jail.
Plaintiff sues defendants in their individual and official capacities.
He seeks monetary,
declaratory, and injlinctive relief.
Plaintiff alleges that defendants exposed him to unsanitary conditions and ·denied him
basic hygiene items; that
allowed personal correspondence by postcards only; that
defendants did not allow him to read books, including the Holy Qur'an (he is Muslim); that
defendants did not allow him to pray in the manrier prescribed by his religion; that. defendants
did not provide him. with the services of an Imam; that defendants did not provide him with
nutritious· food, causing him to lose weight; that defendants refused to supply him with a proper
law library, which prevented him from filing a contemplated case; and that defendants retaliated
against him for filing grievances by placing him in administrative segregation.
Plaintiffs official-capacity claims are predicated on his request for injurictive relief.
However, his request for injunctive relief is moot because he has been released from
confinement. Naming a government official in Ills or her official capacity is the equivalent of
naming the government entity that employs the official. Will v. Michigan Dep 't of State Police,
491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989). To state a claim against a municipality or a government official in his or
her official capacity, plaintiff must allege that a policy or custom of the government entity is
responsible for the alleged constitutional vio~ation. Monell v. Dep't of Social Services, 436 U.S.
658, 690-91 (1978). ·The instant . complaint does not contain any allegations that a policy or.
custom of a government entity was responsible for the alleged violations of plaintiffs
constitutional rights. As a result, plaintiffs official-capacity claims are dismissed.
In general, fictitious parties may not be named as defendants in a civil action. Phelps v.
United States, 15 F.3d 735, 739 (8th Cir. 1994). An action may proceed against a party whose
name is unknown, however, if the complaint makes sufficiently specific allegations to permit the
identity of the party to be ascertained after reasonable discovery: Munz v. Parr, 758 F.2d 1254,
1257 (8th Cir. 1985). In the
at hand, the complaint does not contain allegations sufficiently
specific to permit the identity of "John Does 1-15" to be ascertained after reasonable discovery.
As a result, the Court will dismiss these defendants without prejudice.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF
·No. 2] is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiffs official-capacity claims are DISMISSED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendant John Does 1-15 are DISMISSED without
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk is directed to serve process on the named
defendants in their individual capacities.
An Order of Partial Dismissal will be filed separately.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?