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Staten v. Officer

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


October 16, 2007

JAMES E. STATEN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MAYOR OFFICER AND EAST ST. LOUIS POLICE DEPARTMENT, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Murphy, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

On August 8, 2007, Plaintiff James E. Staten filed suit in this Court against Mayor Officer and the East St. Louis Police Department. With his complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff filed a motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 2), a motion to appoint counsel (Doc. 3), and a motion for service of process at Government expense (Doc. 4).

By granting a motion for pauper status, a federal court authorizes a lawsuit to proceed without prepayment of fees. Title 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) requires federal courts to carefully screen the complaints filed by pauper status movants. Pursuant to § 1915(e)(2), this Court must dismiss any complaint if (a) the allegation of poverty is untrue, (b) the action is frivolous or malicious, (c) the action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or (d) the action seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id.

In reviewing Plaintiff's complaint, this Court bears in mind that it must construe pro se complaints liberally. Ciarpaglini v. Saini, 352 F.3d 328, 330 (7th Cir. 2003). The Court accepts any factual allegations in the complaint as true and draws all reasonable inferences in Plaintiff's favor. See Jogi v. Voges, 425 F.3d 367, 371 (7th Cir. 2005). Even viewing Plaintiff's allegations in this favorable light, the instant action fails to pass muster under § 1915(e)(2) because it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted by this Court.

Liberally construing the complaint and attachments, it appears that Plaintiff was confined at the Alton Mental Health facility pursuant to an order issued by a state court finding that Plaintiff was a person subject to involuntary administration of psychotropic medication. Plaintiff claims that the state court "violated everything." Plaintiff does not indicate what relief, if any, he would like this Court to grant him. The balance of the complaint is comprised of citations to Bible verses and general allegations of racism. Plaintiff's complaint does not include any specific allegations against Defendants Officer or the East St. Louis Police Department. "A plaintiff cannot state a claim against a defendant by including the defendant's name in the caption." Collins v. Kibort, 143 F.3d 331, 334 (7th Cir. 1998).

Accordingly, Plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Therefore, pursuant to § 1915(e)(2), Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 2) is DENIED, and this action is DISMISSED with prejudice. Plaintiff's motions to appoint counsel (Doc. 3) and for service of process at Government expense (Doc. 4) are DENIED. This case is now closed, and judgment will be entered accordingly.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

G. Patrick Murphy United States District Judge

20071016

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