Molina v. Phelps County Jail et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).An Order of Dismissal will accompany this Memorandum and Order. Signed by District Judge Jean C. Hamilton on 12/15/14. (CLA)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
LAZARO MOLINA, Jr.,
PHELPS COUNTY JAIL, et al.,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court upon review of plaintiff’s complaint.
previously granted plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis, found that his complaint
failed to state a claim, and, in light of plaintiff’s pro se status, gave him an opportunity to amend.
Because plaintiff has failed to file an amended complaint, the Court will dismiss this action
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).
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 Alacks an arguable basis in either law or fact.@ Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319,
328 (1989); Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992). 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). A complaint fails to state a claim 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).
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, 32–33 (1992); Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232,
Plaintiff brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, appearing to allege deliberate
indifference to a serious medical condition, violation of his right to access courts, and retaliation.
Named as defendants are Phelps County Jail, Rick Lisenbe (Sheriff, Phelps County), and
Unknown Dowdy (Corporal, Phelps County).
Plaintiff alleges that on July 22, 2014, at approximately 1:00 a.m. he injured his knee in
the recreation room of Phelps County Jail.
According to plaintiff, he was left without a
wheelchair or crutches until approximately 9:00 a.m. Plaintiff asserts that he was taken to Phelps
County Regional Medical center several hours later, where it was determined that he had
fractured his leg behind his knee cap. Plaintiff avers that he was told to keep his leg elevated, to
keep weight off of it, and to take naproxen for the pain. According to plaintiff, his release orders
instructed him to follow up with an orthopedic doctor in three to five days. Plaintiff asserts that
he did not see an orthopedic doctor for eight days, and that when he did, the doctor told him to
keep weight off of his leg.
Plaintiff claims that he has had to walk on his leg since he was injured, despite requesting
crutches or a wheelchair through administrative procedures. He further asserts that the only
medication he has received is ibuprofen twice a day.
Plaintiff has failed to state claims against Phelps County Jail, or defendants Lisenbe and
Dowdy, in their official capacities. 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 claims upon
which relief can be granted against Phelps County Jail, or defendants Lisenbe and Dowdy, in
their official capacities.
With regard to defendants Lisenbe and Dowdy, in their individual capacities, “[l]iability
under ' 1983 requires a causal link to, and direct responsibility for, the alleged deprivation of
rights.” Madewell v. Roberts, 909 F.2d 1203, 1208 (8th Cir. 1990); see also Martin v. Sargent,
780 F.2d 1334, 1338 (8th Cir. 1985) (claim not cognizable under ' 1983 where plaintiff fails to
allege defendant was personally involved in or directly responsible for incidents that injured
plaintiff); Keeper v. King, 130 F.3d 1309, 1314 (8th Cir. 1997) (noting that general
responsibility for supervising operations of prison is insufficient to establish personal
involvement required to support liability under ' 1983). In the instant action, plaintiff has not set
forth any facts indicating that defendants Lisenbe and Dowdy were directly involved in or
personally responsible for the alleged violations of his constitutional rights. As a result, the
complaint fails to state claims upon which relief can be granted against defendants Lisenbe and
Dowdy, in their individual capacities.
Further, plaintiff appears to allege that several individuals, who are not named as
defendants, are interfering with his access to court and retaliating against him. Because plaintiff
has not named these individuals as defendants, he has failed to state claims against them.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
An Order of Dismissal will accompany this Memorandum and Order.
Dated this 15th day of December, 2014.
/s/ Jean C. Hamilton
JEAN C. HAMILTON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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