Lewis v. Jordan et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis is GRANTED. [ECF No. 2] IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff's complaint is DISMISSED without prejudice. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).An Order of Dismissal will accompany this Memorandum and Order. Signed by District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr on 12/4/2017. (JMC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
CARLA JEAN LEWIS,
JOHN JORDAN, et al.,
No. 1:17-CV-208 ACL
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this civil action under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. 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, 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 Carla Jean Lewis, a non-prisoner residing in Tennessee, files this complaint
against the Sheriff of Cape Girardeau County and four prison officials at the Cape Girardeau
County Jail.1 She seeks an injunction and monetary relief alleging she sent many letters to her
husband while he was incarcerated in Cape Girardeau County Jail in December 2013, and they
were returned to her for not being in proper form.
Plaintiff states Cape Girardeau County Jail has a “postcard only” policy that violates her
First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to communicate with her husband. She also alleges the
jail’s policy that inmates cannot receive books, magazines, and newspapers in the mail violates
her constitutional rights. Plaintiff alleges that despite Cape Girardeau County Jail’s stated
purpose for the policy (i.e., to expand safety and security for inmates and staff and limit
contraband), the jail actually enacted the policy to make a profit. She states that because the jail
charges for and profits from telephone and video-visit services offered to the inmates, the jail
officials restricted written communications entering the jail to force inmates to use the fee-based
On November 13, 2017, the Court issued a ruling in Moon v. Jordan, Case No. 1:15-CV167 RLW, 2017 WL 5466681 (E.D. Mo. Nov. 13, 2017), granting summary judgment to
defendants on plaintiff Darnell Wesley Moon’s complaint alleging constitutional violations
Plaintiff is the sister of Darnell Wesley Moon, who prepared her complaint. Mr. Moon is well
known to the Court as a frequent filer of lawsuits. His lawsuits are subject to the three-strike
provision of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). See Moon v. Boyd, Case No. 1:17-CV-125 SNLJ at n.1 (E.D.
Mo. Oct. 10 2017).
arising out of Cape Girardeau County Jail’s postcard only policy. Id. at *4. In August 2016, the
Court issued a judgment after a bench trial holding that the Cape Girardeau County Jail’s
postcard policy was reasonably related to a legitimate penological interest, and did not violate
the plaintiff’s, the mother of an inmate, constitutional rights. See Simpson v. County of Cape
Girardeau, 202 F. Supp. 3d 1062 (E.D. Mo. 2016).
Plaintiff’s postcard-only claims are the exact claims against the exact defendants brought
by Mr. Moon, plaintiff’s brother, in Moon v. Jordan. See Moon, 2017 WL 5466681 at *4.
Because the Court has twice ruled the postcard policy adopted by the Cape Girardeau County
Jail is constitutional, the Court will dismiss this action for failure to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis is
GRANTED. [ECF No. 2]
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff’s complaint is DISMISSED without
prejudice. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
An Order of Dismissal will accompany this Memorandum and Order.
Dated this 4th day of December, 2017.
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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