United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
Gary Simmons, Plaintiff, Pro se, New Orleans, LA.
For Marlin N. Gusman, Defendant: Timothy R. Richardson, LEAD ATTORNEY, Blake J. Arcuri, Freeman Rudolph Matthews, Usry, Weeks & Matthews, New Orleans, LA.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
DANIEL E. KNOWLES, III, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Plaintiff, Gary Simmons, a state pretrial detainee, filed this civil action against Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In this lawsuit, plaintiff challenges the conditions of his confinement within the Orleans Parish Prison system.
To better understand the factual bases of plaintiff's claims, the Court held a Spears hearing on October 15, 2014. See Spears v. McCotter, 766 F.2d 179 (5th Cir. 1985). " [T]he Spears procedure affords the plaintiff an opportunity to verbalize his complaints, in a manner of communication more comfortable to many prisoners." Davis v. Scott, 157 F.3d 1003, 1005-06 (5th Cir. 1998). The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has observed that a Spears hearing is in the nature of a Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e) motion for more definite statement. Eason v. Holt, 73 F.3d 600, 602 (5th Cir. 1996). Spears hearing testimony becomes a part of the total filing by the pro se applicant. Id.
I. Standards of Review
Federal law mandates that federal courts " review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity." 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Regarding such lawsuits, federal law further requires:
On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint --
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
Additionally, with respect to actions filed in forma pauperis, such as the instant lawsuit, federal law similarly provides:
Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court ...