Phillips v. City of St. Louis
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER re: 2 by Plaintiff Clint Phillips, III ; IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis [ECFNo. 2 ] is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). A separate Order of Dismissal will be filed forthwith.. Signed by District Judge Carol E. Jackson on 12/18/14. (KKS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
CLINT PHILLIPS, III,
CITY OF ST. LOUIS, et al.,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on plaintiff’s motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. The motion will be granted. Additionally, having reviewed the case, the Court will
dismiss it under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) because it is legally frivolous.
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).
Plaintiff brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, seeking monetary relief against
defendants the City of St. Louis and Barnes Jewish Hospital. Plaintiff alleges that a St. Louis
City police officer unconstitutionally arrested him for disturbing the peace in June of 2014 and
illegally transferred him to Barnes Jewish Hospital where he was assaulted and battered by
public safety officers and civilly committed for 96 hours. Plaintiff summarily alleges that the
City of St. Louis has a custom and practice of allowing police officers to make warrantless
arrests for misdemeanors and allows its agents to falsely arrest and imprison citizens.
After carefully reviewing plaintiff's allegations, the Court concludes that the complaint is
legally frivolous. To state a claim under § 1983 against the City of St. Louis or Barnes, a
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); Sanders v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 984 F.2d 972, 975-76 (8th Cir. 1993).
conclusions and threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action that are supported by
mere conclusory statements are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.
Ct. at 1950-51. The instant complaint does not contain any non-conclusory allegations that a
policy or custom of the City of St. Louis or Barnes was responsible for the alleged violations of
plaintiff’s constitutional rights. As such, the Court will dismiss this action as legally frivolous
and for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF
No. 2] is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
A separate Order of Dismissal will be filed forthwith.
Dated this 18th day of December, 2014.
CAROL E. JACKSON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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