Bradford v. Doe et al
OPINION MEMORANDUM AND ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. #2] is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff shall pay an initial partial filing fee of $18.51 within thirty (30) days from the date of this order. Plaintiff is instructed to make his remittance payable to "Clerk, United States District Court," and to include upon it: (1) his name; (2) his prison registration number; (3) the case number; and (4) that the remittance is for an original proceeding.IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk shall not issue process or cause process to issue, because the complaint is legally frivolous and fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(2)(B). IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that any and all remaining pending motions are DENIED as moot.A separate Order of Dismissal shall accompany this Memorandum and Order. 4 2 Signed by District Judge Henry Edward Autrey on 8/4/15. (CLA)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
JOHN DOE, et al.,
No. 4:15CV1146 HEA
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on the motion of Keith Bradford (registration
no. 39159-044) for leave to commence this action without payment of the required
filing fee [Doc. #2]. After reviewing plaintiff’s financial information, the motion
will be granted and plaintiff will be assessed an initial partial filing fee of $18.51.
Furthermore, based on a review of the complaint [Doc. #1], the Court finds that this
action should be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(2)(B).
28 U.S.C. ' 1915(b)(1)
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(b)(1), a prisoner bringing a civil action in
forma pauperis is required to pay the full amount of the filing fee. If the prisoner
has insufficient funds in his prison account to pay the entire fee, the Court must
assess and, when funds exist, collect an initial partial filing fee of 20 percent of the
greater of (1) the average monthly deposits in the prisoner's account; or (2) the
average monthly balance in the prisoner's account for the prior six-month period.
See 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(b)(1). After payment of the initial partial filing fee, the
prisoner is required to make monthly payments of 20 percent of the preceding
month's income credited to the prisoner's account. See 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(b)(2).
The agency having custody of the prisoner will forward these monthly payments to
the Clerk of Court each time the amount in the prisoner's account exceeds $10,
until the filing fee is fully paid. Id.
A review of plaintiff's inmate account statement indicates an average
monthly deposit of $247.43, and an average monthly account balance of $92.59.
Plaintiff has insufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee. Accordingly, the Court
will assess an initial partial filing fee of $18.51, which is 20 percent of plaintiff's
average monthly balance.
28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court may 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 against a defendant who is
immune from such relief. An action is frivolous if Ait lacks an arguable basis in
either law or in fact.@ Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328 (1989). An 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, 51-52.
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, 32-33 (1992).
Plaintiff, an inmate at the McCreary United States Penitentiary in Pine Knot,
Kentucky, brings this action for monetary and injunctive relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§§ 1981, 1983, 1985, and 1986. In addition, plaintiff asserts numerous pendent
state-law claims, including, for example, negligence, defamation, malicious
prosecution, and emotional distress. The named defendants are John Doe (the
step-father of defendant Tiearra Smith), Tiearra Smith (the biological mother of
plaintiff’s minor child), Linda Bradford (plaintiff’s biological mother), Tarquin
Walker (plaintiff’s fellow worshiper at the Moorish Science Temple), and Marquita
Bradford (plaintiff’s biological sister).
Plaintiff’s allegations arise out of an
ongoing custody dispute concerning plaintiff’s minor child. In addition, plaintiff
claims that defendants tried to have him arrested so “he could not interfere with the
multi-thousand weekly prostitution ring defendant Marquita Bradford ran during her
exotic nude dancing.”
A. Section 1983 Claims
To state a claim under ' 1983, a plaintiff must allege (1) that the defendant
acted under color of state law, and (2) that the alleged conduct deprived the plaintiff
of a constitutionally-protected federal right. Schmidt v. City of Bella Villa, 557
F.3d 564, 571 (8th Cir. 2009). Plaintiff has failed to allege, and there is no
indication, that any of the named defendants are state actors within the meaning of
Accordingly, plaintiff’s § 1983 claims will be dismissed as legally
frivolous under ' 1915(e)(2)(B). See also, Kahn v. Kahn, 21 F.3d 859, 861 (8th
Cir. 1994) (AThe domestic relations exception . . . divests the federal courts of
jurisdiction over any action for which the subject is a divorce, allowance of alimony,
or child custody.@).
B. Section 1981 Claims
To establish a claim under ' 1981, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the
defendants purposefully and intentionally discriminated against him on the basis of
race. See General Bldg. Contractors Ass'n, Inc. v. Pennsylvania, 458 U.S. 375, 391
(1982); Edwards v. Jewish Hosp., 855 F.2d 1345, 1351 (8th Cir. 1988). Nothing in
plaintiff=s complaint indicates that any actions taken by defendants were motivated
by purposeful race discrimination. Therefore, plaintiff=s ' 1981 claim is also
legally frivolous and will be dismissed.
C. Section 1985 and 1986 Claims
Title 42 U.S.C. ' 1985 concerns conspiracies to interfere with civil rights.
Although plaintiff does not specify under which subsection of ' 1985 he is
proceeding, the Court will liberally construe the allegations under ' 1985(3), which
provides in pertinent part:
If two or more persons . . . conspire . . . for the purposes of
depriving, either directly or indirectly, any person or class of
persons of the equal protection of the laws, or of equal privileges
and immunities under the laws . . . the party so injured or deprived
may have an action for the recovery of damages occasioned by
such injury or deprivation, against any one or more of the
Thus, to state a claim under ' 1985(3), a plaintiff must establish that (1) he is a
member of a class suffering from invidious discrimination; and (2) defendants=
actions were motivated by racial animus or some other type of class-based
discrimination. United Bhd. of Carpenters, Local 610 v. Scott, 463 U.S. 825,
834-39 (1983); Griffin v. Breckenridge, 403 U.S. 88, 102-03 (1971) (plaintiff must
allege these two elements to state ' 1985(3) claim). In the instant action, nothing in
the complaint indicates that plaintiff is a member of a protected class or that
defendants were motivated by purposeful discrimination. As such, plaintiff=s '
1985(3) claims will be dismissed as legally frivolous.
Because a ' 1986 action is
dependent upon the existence of a ' 1985 claim, plaintiff=s ' 1986 claim is also
frivolous and will be dismissed.
See McIntosh v. Arkansas Republican
Party-Frank White Election Committee, 766 F.2d 337, 340 (8th Cir. 1985).
D. Pendent State Claims
Because plaintiff's federal claims will be dismissed, all remaining pendent
state claims will be dismissed, as well. See 28 U.S.C. ' 1367(c)(3); United Mine
Workers v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 726 (1966) (if federal claims are dismissed before
trial, remaining state claims should also be dismissed); Hassett v. Lemay Bank &
Trust Co.,851 F.2d 1127, 1130 (8th Cir. 1988) (where federal claims have been
dismissed, district courts may decline jurisdiction over pendent state claims as a
"matter of discretion").
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis [Doc. #2] is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff shall pay an initial partial filing
fee of $18.51 within thirty (30) days from the date of this order. Plaintiff is
instructed to make his remittance payable to "Clerk, United States District Court,"
and to include upon it: (1) his name; (2) his prison registration number; (3) the case
number; and (4) that the remittance is for an original proceeding.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk shall not issue process or
cause process to issue, because the complaint is legally frivolous and fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(2)(B).
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that any and all remaining pending motions
are DENIED as moot.
A separate Order of Dismissal shall accompany this Memorandum and Order.
Dated this 4th day of August, 2015
HENRY EDWARD AUTREY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?