Dickson v. Kloeppinger
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER...IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion to alter or amend or reconsider the judgment is DENIED. [ECF No. 7 ]. Signed by District Judge Ronnie L. White on 11/15/2017. (NEB)
UNITED ST ATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MARTEZ ANTHONY DICKSON,
No. 4:17-CV-2448 RLW
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This action is before the Court on plaintiffs motion to alter, amend, or reconsider the
dismissal of this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
For the following reasons, the motion will be
Plaintiff, an inmate at South Central Correctional Center, filed his complaint and motion to
proceed in forma pauperis on September 20, 2017. Plaintiff brought his complaint pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that defendant Thomas Kloeppinger, the Clerk of the Circuit Court of the
City of St. Louis, denied him access to the courts.
Specifically, plaintiff complained that
defendant sent his habeas corpus filings back to him and asked him to "complete additional
paperwork" prior to filing his case. When plaintiff submitted the additional paperwork on March
28, 2017, he was informed that he was unable to file his writ of habeas corpus in the St. Louis City
Court. Rather, he was told the writ of habeas corpus had to be filed in jurisdiction where he was
On September 22, 2017, the Court dismissed the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B), finding that plaintiffs allegations failed to state a claim upon which relief could be
granted. See ECF No. 4. Specifically, the Court found that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction
to engage in appellate review of state court decisions.
Additionally the Court stated that
defendant Kloeppinger, the Clerk of Court of the Circuit Court of St. Louis City, has absolute
quasi-judicial immunity for civil rights violations when he is performing tasks that are an integral
part of the judicial process.
Plaintiff filed the instant motion for reconsideration of the dismissal by placing it in the
prison mail system on October 7, 2017. In his motion for reconsideration, plaintiff attempts to
refute some of the Court's factual findings from Missouri.Case.Net. 1 He also attempts to state an
equal protection claim, by comparing defendant's treatment of plaintiffs habeas corpus petition to
that of another inmate, Mr. Lafair Smith, whose petition plaintiff claims was properly filed.
First, plaintiff has not created any issue of fact in his refutation of the Court's findings. At
most, he shows that he was unaware that his petition had been filed in state court, and that the
notice to file in the county of confinement was mailed from the Circuit Attorney's Office, and not
the Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis. This does not alter the Court's decision.
Plaintiffs assertion regarding his equal protection claim is an assertion of a new legal
theory, and there is no indication plaintiff could not have offered this same theory in his original
complaint. Rule 59(e) permits a court to alter or amend a judgment, but "[s]uch motions cannot
be used to introduce new evidence, tender new legal theories, or raise arguments which could have
been offered or raised prior to entry of judgment." United States v. Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer
Dist., 440 F.3d 930, 933 (8th Cir.2006) (quoting Innovative Home Health Care, 141 F.3d at
1286)). Rather, such motions serve the limited function of corrections of"manifest errors of law
or fact or to present newly discovered evidence." Hagerman v. Yukon Energy Corp., 839 F.2d
Throughout his motion, plaintiff refers to the Undersigned Judge as "The Honorable Smith,"
which is likely a clerical error.
407, 414 (8th Cir. 1988). Moreover, plaintiff does not dispute that defendant, as a state court
clerk, has absolute quasi-judicial immunity from suit.
For these reasons, plaintiffs motion for reconsideration will be denied.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion to alter or amend or reconsider the
judgment is DENIED.
[ECF No. 7]
/5~ay of November, 2017.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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