Baskin v. City of St. Louis et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF No. 2 ] is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiff must pay an initial filing fee of $7 within thirty (30) days of 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 this action is DISMISSED without prejudice. An Order of Dismissal will be filed separately. Signed by District Judge John A. Ross on 10/14/2016. (CLO)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
CARL BASKIN, JR.,
CITY OF ST. LOUIS, et al.,
No. 4:16-CV-1510 JAR
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff, a prisoner, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this civil action under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Having reviewed plaintiff’s financial information, the Court assesses a partial
initial filing fee of $7, which is twenty percent of his average monthly deposit. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b). Additionally, this action is dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).
Standard of Review
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court is required to dismiss a complaint filed in forma
pauperis if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
To state a claim for relief, a complaint must plead more than “legal conclusions” and
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action [that are] supported by mere
conclusory statements.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
A plaintiff must
demonstrate a plausible claim for relief, which is more than a “mere possibility of misconduct.”
Id. at 679. “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows
the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Id. at 678. Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief is a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and
common sense. Id. at 679.
When reviewing a complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court accepts the well-pled
facts as true. Furthermore, the Court liberally construes the allegations.
Plaintiff is an inmate at the St. Louis Medium Security Institution (“MSI”). He sues the
City of St. Louis, Corizon, Inc., the City of St. Louis Division of Corrections, OSHA, and Mayor
Francis G. Slay.
Plaintiff alleges that MSI is overcrowded, the ventilation is inadequate, the building is
condemned, there are vermin, there is black mold, the building does not comply with fire and
safety regulations, and that the building is not adequately maintained. He says that OSHA has
not properly monitored the safety of the institution. He claims that other inmates have been
affected by the conditions. He does not allege, however, to have been personally injured.
A pro se litigant may bring his own claims to federal court without counsel, but not the
claims of others. See 28 U.S.C. § 1654. Consequently, this action is legally frivolous.
Additionally, to state a claim against the City of St. Louis or Corizon, 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).
Plaintiff has not made any such allegations. As a result, these defendants must be dismissed.
Plaintiff’s claim against the City of St. Louis Division of Corrections is legally frivolous
because it cannot be sued. Ketchum v. City of West Memphis, Ark., 974 F.2d 81, 82 (8th Cir.
1992) (departments or subdivisions of local government are “not juridical entities suable as
The only method for suing a federal agency, such as the United States Department of
Labor, which oversees OSHA, is to file a claim under the Federal Torts Claim Act. See 28
U.S.C. § 2679(b)(1). Therefore, plaintiff’s claim against OSHA is legally frivolous.
“Liability 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 Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 676 (2009) (“Because vicarious liability is inapplicable to Bivens and
§ 1983 suits, a plaintiff must plead that each Government-official defendant, through the
official’s own individual actions, has violated the Constitution.”); Camberos v. Branstad, 73
F.3d 174, 176 (8th Cir. 1995) (“a general responsibility for supervising the operations of a prison
is insufficient to establish the personal involvement required to support liability.”). There are no
allegations that Slay was directly responsible for an injury to plaintiff. He is sued under the
theory of respondeat superior. As a result, plaintiff’s allegations against Slay fail 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 the plaintiff must pay an initial filing fee of $7
within thirty (30) days of 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
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED without prejudice.
An Order of Dismissal will be filed separately.
Dated this 14th day of October, 2016.
JOHN A. ROSS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Prisoners must pay the full amount of the $350 filing fee. 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. The agency having custody of the prisoner will deduct the payments and forward them to the
Court each time the amount in the account exceeds $10. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
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