Reed v. State of Missouri et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER : IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis is GRANTED. [ECF No. 2]. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff must pay an initial filing fee of $1 within twenty-one (21) 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 f or an original proceeding. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Reeds action is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). An Order of Dismissal will accompany this Memorandum and Order. Signed by District Judge Rodney W. Sippel on 1/8/18. (LGK)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
PEREZ D. REED,
STATE OF MISSOURI and BEVERLY
No. 4:17 CV 2857 RWS
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, I will assess a partial initial
filing fee of $1, an amount which is reasonable based upon the information I have about
See Henderson v. Norris, 129 F.3d 481, 484 (8th Cir. 1997);
28 U.S.C. § 1915(b).
Standard of Review
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), I must 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
upon which relief can be granted, a complaint needs to 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, an inmate at the St. Louis County Justice Center, brings this action alleging the
State of Missouri and his public defender, Beverly Hauber, are violating his constitutional rights
by requiring him to submit to a mental evaluation before he goes to trial. Plaintiff states he is
mentally fit and refuses to participate in the mental evaluation. Plaintiff has complained to both
Ms. Hauber and the District Public Defender, Stephen Reynolds, that he will not submit to such
an exam. In response, Mr. Reynolds has informed plaintiff that the trial court requires the
A § 1983 claim must allege that a defendant, acting under color of state law, deprived the
plaintiff of rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws of the United
States. 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Generally, a public defender does not act under color of state law
while representing a plaintiff in a criminal proceeding. Polk County v. Dodson, 454 U.S. 312,
Plaintiff has filed this § 1983 action against his public defender, Beverly Hauber.
Although there may be exceptions to the general rule that public defenders do not act under color
of state law, such as “certain administrative and possibly investigative functions,” id., plaintiff
has not alleged any facts supporting an exception. For example, plaintiff has not alleged his
public defender is engaged in any intentional misconduct or conspiratorial acts. I cannot find
defendant Hauber acted under color of state law in her capacity as plaintiff’s public defender.
Accordingly, plaintiff’s §1983 claim against Hauber fails and will be dismissed under § 1915(e).
Plaintiff also cannot bring his § 1983 claims against the State of Missouri. “[N]either a
State nor its officials acting in their official capacity are ‘persons’ under § 1983.” Will v.
Michigan Dep=t of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989).
As a result, the complaint fails to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted as to the State of Missouri, and plaintiff’s § 1983 claim
against the State of Missouri will be dismissed under § 1915(e).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis is
GRANTED. [ECF No. 2].
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff must pay an initial filing fee of $1 within
twenty-one (21) 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
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).
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Reed’s action is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
An Order of Dismissal will accompany this Memorandum and Order.
RODNEY W. SIPPEL
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 8th day of January 2018.
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