Spears v. Holder 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 the plaintiff must pay an initial filing fee of $1.00 within thirty (30) days of the date of this Order. Plaintiff is instructed to make his remittance payable to "Clerk, United States District Court," and to include upon it: (1) his name; (2) his prison registration number; (3) the case number; and (4) that the remittance is for a n original proceeding. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff must file an amended complaint no later than January 21, 2015. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk is directed to send plaintiff a prisoner civil rights complaint form. ( Amended/Supplemental Pleadings due by 1/21/2016., Initial Partial Filing Fee due by 1/20/2016.) Signed by District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr on 12/21/2015. (JMC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
GEOFFREY D. SPEARS,
BOB HOLDER, et al.,
No. 1:15CV238 SNLJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff, a prisoner, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this civil action under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Having reviewed plaintiff’s financial information, the Court assesses a partial
initial filing fee of $1.00. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b).
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 plead 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, which 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. Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is] a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and
common sense. Id. at 679.
On October 15, 2015, plaintiff was booked into the Dunklin County Jail and placed in the
drunk tank. He was not given a blanket or mat. A few weeks later, defendant Nicole Green
ordered that he be placed in the drunk tank again, and he spent six days there.
He wrote grievances to defendants Green and Bob Holder, but they did not respond to
Later, plaintiff began coughing up blood. He has requested medical help, but he has not
Finally, plaintiff complains that he has been fed meal loaf three times a day.
Plaintiff did not specify whether he is suing defendants in their official or individual
Where a “complaint is silent about the capacity in which [plaintiff] is suing
defendant, [a district court must] interpret the complaint as including only official-capacity
claims.” Egerdahl v. Hibbing Community College, 72 F.3d 615, 619 (8th Cir. 1995); Nix v.
Norman, 879 F.2d 429, 431 (8th Cir. 1989). Naming a government official in his 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 violation. 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 plaintiff’s constitutional rights. As a result, the complaint fails to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted.
To state a claim for unconstitutional prison conditions, a pretrial detainee must show that
(1) the conditions of confinement posed a substantial risk of serious harm and (2) that the prison
officials knew of but disregarded, or were deliberately indifferent to, plaintiff=s health and safety.
Crow v. Montgomery, 403 F.3d 598, 602 (8th Cir. 2005). Plaintiff has not alleged that the
conditions in the drunk tank posed a substantial risk of serious harm that defendants deliberately
disregarded. As a result, his drunk tank claim does not rise to the level of plausibility required
Similarly, plaintiff has not alleged that being fed meal loaf subjected him to serious harm.
This claim is also implausible under § 1983.
Because plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court will allow him to file an amended
complaint. Plaintiff is warned that the filing of an amended complaint replaces the original
complaint, and so he must include each and every one of his claims in the amended
complaint. E.g., In re Wireless Telephone Federal Cost Recovery Fees Litigation, 396 F.3d
922, 928 (8th Cir. 2005). Any claims from the original complaint that are not included in
the amended complaint will be considered abandoned. Id. Plaintiff must allege how each
and every defendant is directly responsible for the alleged harm.
In order to sue
defendants in their individual capacities, plaintiff must specifically say so in the complaint.
If plaintiff fails to sue defendants in their individual capacities, this action may be subject
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF
No. 2] is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiff must pay an initial filing fee of $1.00
within thirty (30) days of the date of this Order. Plaintiff is instructed to make his remittance
payable to “Clerk, United States District Court,” and to include upon it: (1) his name; (2) his
prison registration number; (3) the case number; and (4) that the remittance is for an original
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff must file an amended complaint no later
than January 21, 2015.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk is directed to send plaintiff a prisoner civil
rights complaint form.
Dated this 21st day of December, 2015.
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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