United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Richard G. Kopf, Senior United States District Judge
filed her Complaint in this matter on June 6, 2016. (Filing
No. 1.) Plaintiff has been given leave to proceed in
forma pauperis. (Filing No. 5.) The court now
conducts an initial review of the Complaint to determine
whether summary dismissal is appropriate under 28 U.S.C.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
Complaint is difficult to decipher. As best the court can
tell, Plaintiff alleges that she was taken into custody by
police for possession of a controlled substance. She claims
that after she posted bond, the police refused to release her
because Judge Coffey ordered her to be held. She also asserts
that Jarebeck Lux did not make a motion for bond review in
other criminal cases involving Plaintiff that were then
pending in state court.
requests that the court award her $500, 000, 000 in damages.
STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW
court is required to review in forma pauperis complaints to
determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e). The court must dismiss a complaint or
any portion of it that states a frivolous or malicious claim,
that fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted,
or that seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
plaintiffs must set forth enough factual allegations to
“nudge their claims across the line from conceivable
to plausible, ” or “their complaint must be
dismissed.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 569-70 (2007); see also Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“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.”).
essential function of a complaint under the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure is to give the opposing party ‘fair
notice of the nature and basis or grounds for a claim, and a
general indication of the type of litigation
involved.'” Topchian v. JPMorgan Chase Bank,
N.A., 760 F.3d 843, 848 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Hopkins v. Saunders, 199 F.3d 968, 973 (8th Cir.
1999)). However, “[a] pro se complaint must be
liberally construed, and pro se litigants are held to a
lesser pleading standard than other parties.”
Topchian, 760 F.3d at 849 (internal quotation marks
and citations omitted).
construed, Plaintiff here alleges federal constitutional
claims. To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must allege a violation of rights protected by the
United States Constitution or created by federal statute and
also must show that the alleged deprivation was caused by
conduct of a person acting under color of state law. West
v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Buckley v.
Barlow, 997 F.2d 494, 495 (8th Cir. 1993).
42 U.S.C. § 1983 action, Plaintiff alleges that she was
held in jail in violation of her constitutional rights.
However, Plaintiff's Complaint, which is conclusory and
lacking in detail, fails to state cognizable claims.
Complaint does not specify whether Plaintiff is suing
Defendants in their official or individual capacities.
Therefore, the court presumes they are sued in their official
capacities only. See Johnson v. Outboard Marine
Corp., 172 F.3d 531, 535 (8th Cir. 1999) (“This
court has held that, in order to sue a public official in his
or her individual capacity, a plaintiff must expressly and
unambiguously state so in the pleadings, otherwise, it will
be assumed that the defendant is sued only in his or her
official capacity.”). A claim against an individual in
his official capacity is, in reality, a claim
against the entity that employs the official. See Parrish
v. Luckie, 963 F.2d 201, 203 n.1 (8th Cir. 1992)
(“Suits against persons in their official capacity are
just another method of filing suit against the entity. A
plaintiff seeking damages in an official-capacity suit is
seeking a judgment against the entity.”) (internal
case, it appears that Plaintiff is suing employees of the
State of Nebraska, City of Omaha, and Douglas County,
Nebraska in their official capacities. The Eleventh Amendment
bars claims for damages by private parties against a state,
state instrumentalities, and an employee of a state sued in
the employee's official capacity. See, e.g., Egerdahl
v. Hibbing Cmty. Coll.,72 F.3d 615, 619 (8th Cir.
1995); Dover Elevator Co. v. Arkansas State Univ.,64 F.3d 442, 446-47 (8th Cir. 1995). Consequently,
Plaintiff's official capacity claims against employees of
the State of Nebraska fail. Moreover, the City of Omaha and
Douglas County can only be liable under § 1983 if a
municipal policy or custom caused Plaintiff's injury.
See Monell v. New York ...