Meeks v. Missouri State Public Defender System et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis Doc. # 2 is DENIED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED, without prejudice to refiling as a fully paid complaint. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). A separate Order of Dismissal shall accompany this Memorandum and Order. Signed by District Judge John A. Ross on 11/25/13. (ARL)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MISSOURI STATE PUBLIC
DEFENDER SYSTEM, et al.,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma
pauperis. Plaintiff, a prisoner at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center, has filed
at least three previous cases that were dismissed as frivolous, malicious, or for failure
to state a claim.1 Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), therefore, the Court may not grant the
motion unless plaintiff “is under imminent danger of serious physical injury.”
Plaintiff brings the instant action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The named
defendants are the Missouri State Public Defender System and Ellen Blau, a Division
Director. Plaintiff alleges that his appointed attorney in a criminal matter arising in
Clay County, Missouri, “did nothing but promise things that he could not fulfill” and
breached the attorney-client relationship.
See Meeks v Sachse, 4:12CV566 ERW (E.D. Mo.); Meeks v. Boydston,
4:10CV1276 ODS (W.D. Mo.); Meeks v. Clay County Medical Staff, 4:10CV614
GAF (W.D. Mo.).
After reviewing the complaint, the Court finds no allegations indicating that
plaintiff is in imminent danger of serious physical injury. Rather, plaintiff generally
complains of “wrongful representation by the Missouri Public Defender System.” As
a result, the Court will deny plaintiff’s motion for in forma pauperis status and will
dismiss this action without prejudice to refiling as a fully paid complaint. In this
regard, however, the Court notes that the “Missouri Public Defender System” is not
a suable entity under § 1983, see also Polk County v. Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 325
(1981) (public defenders performing lawyers' traditional functions do not act under
color of state law for purposes of § 1983), and the respondeat superior theory of
liability is inapplicable in § 1983 suits. See Boyd v. Knox, 47 F.3d 966, 968 (8th Cir.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma
pauperis [Doc. #2] is DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED, without
prejudice to refiling as a fully paid complaint. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
A separate Order of Dismissal shall accompany this Memorandum and Order.
Dated this 25th day of November, 2013.
JOHN A. ROSS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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