Brown v. Sibert et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER..IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs 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 $18 within thirty (30) days of the date of this Ord er. 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 proceedin g. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk is directed to serve process on defendant Chris Rataj, who is alleged to be a detective in Sikeston, Missouri. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendants William Sibert, Ned Boyd, A. Johnson, N. Ems, and Patty Karol are DISMISSED without prejudice. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiffs motion for injunctive relief [ECF No. 7] and motion to move case along [ECF No. 11] are DENIED as moot.. Signed by District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr on 11/21/16. (MRS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
GEORGE E. BROWN,
WILLIAM C. SIBERT, et al.,
No. 1:16-CV-202 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 $18, which is twenty percent of his average monthly balance. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b). Additionally, the complaint is partially dismissed.
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, 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.
When reviewing a complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court accepts the well-pled
facts as true. Furthermore, the Court liberally construes the allegations.
Plaintiff brings several unrelated causes of action against defendants. Defendants are
Chris Rataj, Detective; William Sibert, Deputy United States Marshal; Ned Boyd, Deputy United
States Marshal; A. Johnson, Jail Administrator; N. Ems, Deputy Sheriff; and Patty Karol,
Plaintiff alleges that defendant Rataj tased him during his arrest.
He fell down,
immobilized. Rataj tased him a second time while he was immobile. Plaintiff argues that the
second shock constituted excessive force.
Plaintiff says that defendants Sibert and Boyd transferred him to the Ste. Genevieve
County Jail after a court appearance. He told the officials at the Jail he had sleep apnea and atrial
fibrillation, but he says they did not treat his conditions. These defendants later transferred him
to the Cape Girardeau County Jail. He says his conditions went untreated there as well.
Plaintiff alleges that defendant Ems, who works at the Ste. Genevieve County Jail, gave
him a conduct violation for not wearing his wrist band. He filed grievances about the violation.
He says that Ems retaliated against him by transferring him to a different housing unit and
assigning him to a top bunk. Plaintiff believes that the top bunk is dangerous, but he has not
alleged he suffered any injury. Defendant Karol denied his grievances.
Ems dispensed the antibiotic Bactrim to plaintiff. Plaintiff says defendant Ems should
have known he would have a bad reaction to it. However, plaintiff took the drug. He had
itching, swollen lips, chills, and pain as a result. He has not alleged that he made Ems or any
other party aware of the possibility of a bad reaction to the drug.
In his “motion requesting the Court to move case along on docket,” he says he is suing
defendants in both their individual and official capacities.
Plaintiff’s claims against the defendants are unrelated. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
20(a)(2) provides: “Persons . . . may be joined in one action as defendants if: (A) any right to
relief is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or arising out
of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences; and (B) any
question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action.” In other words,
“Claim A against Defendant 1 should not be joined with unrelated Claim B against Defendant
George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007). In this instance, plaintiff’s claim
against Rataj is not related to his claims against any of the other defendants. As a result, the
Court will dismiss all defendants except for Rataj for improper joinder. If plaintiff wishes to sue
those defendants, he must bring new complaints for each set of transactions or occurrences.
The Court finds that plaintiff’s claim against Rataj in his individual capacity should not
be dismissed at this time. As a result, it will direct the Clerk to serve process on defendant.
However, plaintiff’s claim against Rataj in his official capacity is dismissed. See Monell v. Dep’t
of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 690-91 (1978) (official-capacity claim is claim against
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 $18
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 the Clerk is directed to serve process on defendant
Chris Rataj, who is alleged to be a detective in Sikeston, Missouri.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendants William Sibert, Ned Boyd, A. Johnson,
N. Ems, and Patty Karol are DISMISSED without prejudice.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion for injunctive relief [ECF No. 7]
and motion to move case along [ECF No. 11] are DENIED as moot.
An Order of Partial Dismissal will be entered forthwith.
Dated this 21st day of November, 2016.
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Prisoners must pay the full amount of the $350 filing fee. After payment of the initial partial
filing fee, the prisoner is required to make monthly payments of 20 percent of the preceding
month’s income credited to the prisoner’s account. The agency having custody of the prisoner
will deduct the payments and forward them to the Court each time the amount in the account
exceeds $10. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
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