Clark v. Sachse et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER re: 3 , 8 , 6 ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. #3] is GRANTED. FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk shall not issue process or cause process to issue upon the complaint, because the first amen ded complaint is legally frivolous and fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel [Doc. #6] and motion to compel the production of documents [Doc. #8] are DENIED as moot. A separate Order of Dismissal shall accompany this Memorandum and Order. Signed by District Judge Jean C. Hamilton on 5/27/14. (CEL)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
SACOREY L. CLARK,
JENNIFER SACHSE, et al.,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court upon the motion of Sacorey L. Clark
(registration no. 1047833) for leave to commence this action without payment of the
required filing fee. Plaintiff states that, despite his efforts, he has been unable to
obtain a copy of his inmate account statement. As such, the Court will grant him in
forma pauperis status at this time, without assessing an initial partial filing fee.
Furthermore, based upon a review of the complaint, the Court finds that this action
should be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(2)(B).
28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court must dismiss a complaint
filed in forma pauperis if the action is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. An action is frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis in
either law or fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328 (1989). An action is
malicious if it is undertaken for the purpose of harassing the named defendants and
not for the purpose of vindicating a cognizable right. Spencer v. Rhodes, 656 F.
Supp. 458, 461-63 (E.D.N.C. 1987), aff'd 826 F.2d 1059 (4th Cir. 1987).
action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead
Aenough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.@ Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
To determine whether an action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted, the Court must engage in a two-step inquiry. First, the Court must identify
the allegations in the complaint that are not entitled to the assumption of truth.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1950-51 (2009).
These include "legal
conclusions" and "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action [that are]
supported by mere conclusory statements." Id. at 1949. Second, the Court must
determine whether the complaint states a plausible claim for relief. Id. at 1950-51.
This is a "context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its
judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 1950. The plaintiff is required to
plead facts that show more than the "mere possibility of misconduct." Id. The
Court must review the factual allegations in the complaint "to determine if they
plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief."
Id. at 1951.
When faced with
alternative explanations for the alleged misconduct, the Court may exercise its
judgment in determining whether plaintiff's conclusion is the most plausible or
whether it is more likely that no misconduct occurred. Id. at 1950-52.
Moreover, in reviewing a pro se complaint under ' 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court
must give the complaint the benefit of a liberal construction. Haines v. Kerner, 404
U.S. 519, 520 (1972).
The Court must also weigh all factual allegations in favor of
the plaintiff, unless the facts alleged are clearly baseless. Denton v. Hernandez,
504 U.S. 25, 32 (1992).
The First Amended Complaint
Plaintiff, an inmate at South Central Correctional Center, seeks monetary
relief in this action for the violation of his constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. '
1983, which allegedly occurred at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center
("MECC"). Named as defendants in the first amended complaint [Doc. #2] are
MECC employees Jennifer Sachse, George Hays, Brenda Short, Unknown Walters,
Unknown Wilson, Unknown Doe I, Unknown Doe II, and John Hilpert. Plaintiff
alleges that defendants are responsible for his unconstitutional lack of access to
correspondence from "civilian senders."
Having carefully reviewed the complaint, the Court concludes that dismissal
is warranted under 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(2)(B). Plaintiff brings this action against
defendants in their official capacities.
See Egerdahl v. Hibbing Community
College, 72 F.3d 615, 619 (8th Cir. 1995) (where a complaint is silent about
defendant=s capacity, Court must interpret the complaint as including
official-capacity claims); 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, in this case the State of
Missouri. See Will v. Michigan Dep=t of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989).
A[N]either a State nor its officials acting in their official capacity are >persons= under
' 1983.@ Id. As a result, the first amended complaint [Doc. #2] is legally frivolous
and fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted as to all named defendants,
and therefore, the Court will dismiss this action under 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(2)(B).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff=s motion to proceed in forma
pauperis [Doc. #3] is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk shall not issue process or cause
process to issue upon the complaint, because the first amended complaint is legally
frivolous and fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See 28 U.S.C.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for appointment of
counsel [Doc. #6] and motion to compel the production of documents [Doc. #8] are
DENIED as moot.
A separate Order of Dismissal shall accompany this Memorandum and Order.
Dated this 27th Day of May, 2014.
/s/Jean C. Hamilton
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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