Stokes v. Thompson
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER -...IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's complaint and all of his causes of action against defendants are DISMISSED without prejudice. A separate order of dismissal will be entered herewith. IT IS HEREBY CERTIFIED that an appeal from this dismissal would not be taken in good faith. Signed by District Judge Charles A. Shaw on 11/21/2016. (MRC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
UNKNOWN WALLY, et al.,
No. 4:16-CV-1165 CAS
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on review of the file. This action will be dismissed
because plaintiff has failed to comply with this Court’s October 12, 2016 Order, and because his
complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
Plaintiff Marvin Stokes filed this civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, seeking monetary
relief against two sheriffs for injuries that allegedly occurred as he was riding in a sheriff’s van.
At the time he filed the complaint, plaintiff was incarcerated at the City Justice Center in Saint
Louis, Missouri. Since that time, he has updated his address to a private residence.
Upon initial review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, the Court noted that it
failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The Court also determined that the
complaint’s allegations were in the form of a long narrative that included the two defendants’
names along with the names of other people, leaving it unclear exactly what plaintiff was
claiming each defendant did to violate his constitutional rights. The Court ordered plaintiff to
file an amended complaint no later than November 14, 2016, warning him that failure to do so
could result in dismissal of his case. A copy of the Order was mailed to plaintiff at the City
Justice Center. The following day, October 13, 2016, plaintiff updated his mailing address to a
private residence, and a copy of the Order was immediately mailed to him there. Plaintiff’s
response to the Court was due November 14, 2016, but to date, he has filed nothing.
Accordingly, the complaint should be dismissed without prejudice due to plaintiff’s failure to
comply with this Court’s October 12, 2016 Order. Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b); Brown v. Frey, 806
F.2d 801, 803-04 (8th Cir. 1986) (holding that a district court has the power to dismiss an action
for the plaintiff’s failure to comply with any court order).
As alternate grounds for dismissal, the Court determines that the complaint fails to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The complaint is silent as to
whether defendants are being sued in their official or individual capacities, and plaintiff seeks
only monetary relief. “If a plaintiff’s complaint is silent about the capacity in which [he] is suing
the defendant, [the district court interprets] the complaint as including only official-capacity
claims.” Egerdahl v. Hibbing Community College, 72 F.3d 615, 619 (8th Cir. 1995); see also
Nix v. Norman, 879 F.2d 429, 431 (8th Cir. 1989). State officials sued for monetary relief in
their official capacities are not “persons” subject to § 1983 liability because such suits are
actually suits against the state itself. Will v. Michigan Dept. of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71
(1989). Therefore, because the complaint is actually a suit for monetary damages against the
state, it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under § 1983, and will be
dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s complaint and all of his causes of action
against defendants are DISMISSED without prejudice. A separate order of dismissal will be
IT IS HEREBY CERTIFIED that an appeal from this dismissal would not be taken in
CHARLES A. SHAW
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 21st day of November, 2016.
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?