White v. Wallace, No. 1:2015cv00186 - Document 8 (E.D. Mo. 2015)

Court Description: OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. #6] is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk shall not issue process or cause process to issue upon the complaint, because the complaint is legally frivolous and fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(2)(B). A separate Order of Dismissal shall accompany this Memorandum and Order. Signed by District Judge Henry Edward Autrey on 12/21/2015. (JMC)
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White v. Wallace Doc. 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI SOUTHEASTERN DIVISION DAVID G. WHITE, Plaintiff, v. IAN WALLACE, Defendant. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) No. 1:15-CV-186-ACL OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER This matter is before the Court on the motion of David G. White (registration no. 530035) for leave to commence this action without payment of the required filing fee [Docs. #6 and #7]. For the reasons stated below, the Court finds that plaintiff does not have sufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee, and therefore, the motion will be granted, and plaintiff will not be assessed an initial partial filing fee at this time. See 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(b)(1). Furthermore, based upon a review of the complaint, the Court finds that this action should be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(2)(B). 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e) Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court may dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis if the action is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is Dockets.Justia.com immune from such relief. An action is frivolous if Ait lacks an arguable basis in either law or in fact.@ Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328 (1989). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead Aenough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.@ Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). In reviewing a pro se complaint under ' 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court must give the complaint the benefit of a liberal construction. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). The Court must also weigh all factual allegations in favor of the plaintiff, unless the facts alleged are clearly baseless. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992); Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974). The Complaint Plaintiff, an inmate at Southeast Correctional Center (ASECC@), seeks monetary relief in this action for the violation of his constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. ' 1983. The sole named defendant is Ian Wallace (SECC Warden). Plaintiff alleges that he is in need of legal materials in order to access the courts. In addition, plaintiff states that SECC is restricting him from purchasing manila envelopes and that he does not have sufficient funds to purchase stamps, toothpaste, and paper. 2 Discussion Having carefully reviewed the complaint, the Court concludes that dismissal is warranted under 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(2)(B). Plaintiff brings this action against Ian Wallace in his official capacity. See Egerdahl v. Hibbing Community College, 72 F.3d 615, 619 (8th Cir. 1995) (where a complaint is silent about defendant=s capacity, Court must interpret the complaint as including official-capacity claims); Nix v. Norman, 879 F.2d 429, 431 (8th Cir. 1989). Naming a government official in his or her official capacity is the equivalent of naming the government entity that employs the official, in this case the State of Missouri. See Will v. Michigan Dep=t of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989). A[N]either a State nor its officials acting in their official capacity are >persons= under ' 1983.@ Id. As a result, the complaint is legally frivolous and fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. As additional grounds for dismissing this action, the Court notes that to state a claim under ' 1983, a plaintiff must allege that (1) the defendant acted under color of state law, and (2) defendant's alleged conduct deprived the plaintiff of a constitutionally-protected federal right. Schmidt v. City of Bella Villa, 557 F.3d 564, 571 (8th Cir. 2009). In the instant case, plaintiff has failed to allege that defendant Wallace personally participated in the violation of his constitutional rights. See Jeffers v. Gomez, 267 F.3d 895, 915 (9th Cir. 2001) (§ 1983 liability 3 arises only upon a showing of personal participation by defendant); Madewell v. Roberts, 909 F.2d 1203, 1208 (8th Cir. 1990) (liability under § 1983 requires a causal link to, and direct responsibility for, the alleged deprivation of rights); 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). For these reasons, the Court will dismiss this action under 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(2)(B). Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff=s motion to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. #6] is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk shall not issue process or cause process to issue upon the complaint, because the complaint is legally frivolous and fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(2)(B). A separate Order of Dismissal shall accompany this Memorandum and Order. Dated this 21st day of December, 2015 ___________________________________ HENRY EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 4