Blakemore v. State of Missouri et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc No. #3] is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C.§ 1915(e)(2)(B).IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plai ntiffs motion for appointment of counsel [Doc.#2] is DENIED AS MOOT. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that an appeal of this dismissal shall not be taken in goodfaith. A separate Order of Dismissal shall accompany this Memorandum and Order. 3 2 Signed by District Judge Jean C. Hamilton on 2/13/18. (CLA)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
JAMES ARTHUR BLAKEMORE, III,
STATE OF MISSOURI, et al.,
No. 4:17-CV-0223 JMB
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this civil action brought pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. The motion will be granted. Furthermore, based upon a review of the
complaint, the Court finds that the complaint should be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
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 brings this action alleging violations of his civil rights during his incarceration as
a pretrial detainee in the St. Louis County Detention Center. He asserts that he was sexually
assaulted at the Detention Center, and he names as defendants the State of Missouri and
Prosecuting Attorneys Elizabeth Hanson and Unknown Ms. Nye.
Plaintiff generally asserts that “prosecutors are held to higher standards.” He asserts that
he exhausted his administrative grievances by “confession of matter” of “rape of inmate James
Arthur Blakemore, III, while unlawful detained for 352 days and abuse of process with state.”
Plaintiff also mentions that he believes his rights under the Prison Rape Elimination Act
(“PREA”) have been violated, but he has not provided the Court with any factual allegations
surrounding his conclusory claim.
In plaintiff’s request for relief, he seeks “remedies for all violations and punitive damages
paid to victim for all crimes committed by government officials. . .”
“approximately 6 billion or more for injuries.”
Although it appears that plaintiff may have been harmed in some way during his
incarceration in the St. Louis County Detention Center, plaintiff has not articulated exactly how
the State of Missouri1 and the defendant prosecutors purportedly violated his Constitutional
rights. ALiability 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 also
Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1338 (8th Cir. 1985) (claim not cognizable under ' 1983
where plaintiff fails to allege defendant was personally involved in or directly responsible for
incidents that injured plaintiff); Boyd v. Knox, 47 F.3d 966, 968 (8th Cir. 1995) (respondeat
superior theory inapplicable in § 1983 suits). In the instant action, plaintiff has not set forth any
facts indicating that any of the named defendants were directly involved in or personally
responsible for the alleged violations of his constitutional rights. As a result, the complaint fails
to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
To the extent plaintiff is attempting to bring a failure to protect claim against an
individual at the Detention Center, he has failed to identify exactly who failed to protect him
from attack by another inmate and that the alleged defendant was aware of facts from which they
could infer the existence of a substantial risk of serious harm to him. See Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 836-38, 844 (1994).
Additionally, if plaintiff is merely attempting to state that the prosecutors were wrong in
bringing a case against him such that he should not have been in the Detention Center to begin
with, his claim is legally frivolous, as the prosecutors are entitled to absolute immunity when
they are acting as advocates for the State of Missouri in a criminal prosecution. Brodnicki v. City
of Omaha, 75 F.3d 1261, 1266 (8th Cir. 1996).
Last, to the extent that plaintiff is attempting to sue defendants under the PREA, the
complaint is legally frivolous. The PREA “does not create a right of action that is privately
The State of Missouri is absolutely immune from liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Will v.
Michigan Dept. of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 63 (1989).
enforceable by an individual civil litigant.” E.g., LeMasters v. Fabian, 2009 WL 1405176, at *2
(D. Minn. May 18, 2009); Chinnici v. Edwards, 2008 WL 3851294, at *3 (D. Vt. Aug. 12, 2008)
(“The PREA is intended to address the problem of rape in prison, authorizes grant money, and
creates a commission to study the issue. 42 U.S.C. § 15601 et seq. The statute does not grant
prisoners any specific rights.”).
In light of the aforementioned, plaintiff’s complaint is subject to pre-service dismissal
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc
No. #3] is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion for appointment of counsel [Doc.
#2] is DENIED AS MOOT.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that an appeal of this dismissal shall not be taken in good
A separate Order of Dismissal shall accompany this Memorandum and Order.
Dated this 13th day of February, 2018.
\s\ Jean C. Hamilton
JEAN C. HAMILTON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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