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Johnson v. Lee

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

October 28, 2014

HARRY LEE, et al., Section


KAREN WELLS ROBY, Magistrate Judge.

This matter was referred to the United States Magistrate Judge to conduct a hearing, including an evidentiary hearing, if necessary, and to submit proposed findings and recommendations for disposition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and (C), § 1915e(2), and § 1915A, and as applicable, 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1) and(2). Upon review of the entire record, the Court has determined that this matter can be disposed of without an evidentiary hearing.

I. Factual Summary

This is the third lawsuit filed by Johnson in which he alleges to have suffered mental anguish as a result of the actions of many government officials as well as private individuals who allowed his adoptive legal guardian, Ms. Ruth Jackson, to molest him.[1] He alleges that all of his life he has been retaliated against by the State of Louisiana and its officials.[2] Specifically, he alleges that the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office retaliated against him by falsely arresting him and allowing him to be subjected to aggravated rape by inmates Michael Lovieck, Robert Flagg and Allen Riley while in the custody of the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in 1993.[3]

In this lawsuit, he alleges that he was again raped and sexually assaulted by inmates Donald Davenport and Eugene Davenport while in the custody of the state.[4] He also alleges that he was subjected to medical malpractice while in the care of the West Jefferson Medical Center, although he does not specify the acts which could have constituted malpractice.[5]

He further claims injury as a result of the un-described actions of Governor Jindal, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, the JPCC Jail, West Jefferson Hospital, LSU Hospital and the FBI who allegedly failed to protect him from his enemies and the rapes that allegedly occurred in the 1980's and 1993.[6]

Johnson filed this lawsuit seeking a restraining order to prevent retaliation from Ms. Ruth Jackson and her family as well as from all of the defendants named in this lawsuit including the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal (who was not named as a party).[7] He further seeks to be released from the Jefferson Parish Jail and seeks monetary damages for his injuries.[8]

Johnson had previously filed a lawsuit in this Court entitled Baron Johnson v. James M. LeBlanc, et. al., Civil Action No. 10-1735 C(4), seeking damages arising out of the sexual assaults, abuse and medical negligence he experienced. Johnson named as defendants a multitude of individuals, entities, and governmental agencies ranging from Secretary James M. LeBlanc of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections in Baton Rouge to the L.S.U. Hospitals in Shreveport.[9] This Court dismissed the previous lawsuit as malicious on April 28, 2011.[10]

Johnson also filed a similar lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana entitled Johnson v. La. Dept. of Public Safety & Corr., et al., Civil Action No. 09-143-TS-MLH. A review of the electronic case management website for the Western District reveals that the former suit was dismissed without prejudice for failure to prosecute on March 15, 2010, and has since been appealed by Johnson.

II. Standard of Review for Frivolousness

Title 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c) require the Court to sua sponte dismiss cases filed by prisoners proceeding in forma pauperis upon a determination that they are frivolous. The Court has broad discretion in determining the frivolous nature of the complaint. See Cay v. Estelle, 789 F.2d 318 (5th Cir. 1986), modified on other grounds, Booker v. Koonce, 2 F.3d 114 (5th Cir. 1993). However, the Court may not sua sponte dismiss an action merely because of questionable legal theories or unlikely factual allegations in the complaint.

Under this statute, a claim is frivolous only when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Talib v. Gilley, 138 F.3d 211, 213 (5th Cir. 1998). A claim lacks an arguable basis in law if it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory, such as if the complaint alleges the violation of a legal interest which clearly does not exist. Harper v. Showers, 174 F.3d 716, 718 (5th Cir. 1999) (quoting Davis v. Scott, 157 F.3d 1003, 1005 (5th Cir.1998)). It lacks an arguable factual basis only if the facts alleged are "clearly baseless, " a category encompassing fanciful, fantastic, and delusional allegations. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992); Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327-28. Therefore, the Court must determine whether the plaintiff's claims are based on an indisputably meritless legal theory or clearly baseless factual allegations. Reeves v. Collins, 27 F.3d 174, 176 (5th Cir. 1994); see Jackson v. Vannoy, 49 F.3d 175, 176-77 (5th Cir. 1995); Moore v. Mabus, 976 F.2d 268, 269 (5th Cir. 1992).

III. Analysis

A. Claims Against Resigned Governor Edwin Edwards, Resigned Governor Kathleen Blanco, Governor Bobby ...

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