United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
G. JAMES JUDGE
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. HAYES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
se plaintiff Carlos Luron Harris, proceeding in
forma pauperis, filed the instant civil rights
complaint, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983, on April 24,
2017. [Rec. Doc. 1] Plaintiff sues Kwasic Heckard seeking
compensatory damages. This matter has been referred to the
undersigned for review, report, and recommendation in
accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §636 and the
standing orders of the Court.
April 30, 2015, acting on a tip from a confidential
informant, defendant, along with other agents, conducted a
traffic stop of a vehicle in which plaintiff was a passenger.
[Rec. Doc. 1-2. p. 1] A pat down was conducted and plaintiff
was found to be in possession of crack cocaine. Id.
Plaintiff advised officers that the crack belonged to the
driver. Id. Plaintiff advised officers of a
residence where more crack cocaine could be found and, after
a search of this residence and an additional arrest,
plaintiff, the driver of the vehicle, and another individual
were taken in for booking. Id.
Affidavit of Probable Cause for Arrest Without a Warrant was
executed by the defendant on that date. Id. On May
1, 2015, the affidavit was filed and probable cause for the
arrest was found by a Fourth Judicial District Court Judge.
was initially charged by Bill of Information with one count
of possession of CDS II with intent to distribute and one
count of conspiracy to possess controlled dangerous substance
with intent to distribute. [Rec. Doc. 1-2, p 2] On April 26,
2016, the Bill of Information was amended. Id. On
that date, plaintiff withdrew his plea of not guilty and pled
guilty to one count of attempted possession of drug
paraphernalia and sentenced to time served[1" name="FN1" id="FN1">1]. [Rec. Doc. 1-2,
filed the instant complaint on April 24, 2017, alleging that
the defendant violated his constitutional rights by
unreasonably searching and seizing his person “without
a warrant made upon probable cause and supported by an Oath
or affirmation.” [Rec. Doc. 1, p. 6]
is a prisoner seeking redress from an officer or employee of
a governmental entity who has been permitted to proceed
in forma pauperis. Accordingly, his complaint is
subject to preliminary screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915A. See Martin v. Scott, 156 F.3d 578');">156 F.3d 578, 579-80
(5th Cir.1998) (per curiam). Since he is proceeding in
forma pauperis, his complaint is also subject to
screening under § 1915(e)(2). Both § 1915(e)(2) (B)
and § 1915A(b) provide for sua sponte dismissal
of the complaint, or any portion thereof, if it is frivolous
or malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief.
complaint is frivolous when it “lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 19');">490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A claim lacks an
arguable basis in law when it is “based on an
indisputably meritless legal theory.” Id. at
327. A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted when it fails to plead “enough facts to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007); accord Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 2');">556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (A court should begin its analysis by
“identifying pleadings that, because they are no more
than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of
truth. While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a
complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations.
When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court
should assume their veracity and then determine whether they
plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.”);
Schultea v. Wood, 1427');">47 F.3d 1427, 1433 (5th Cir.1995).
are not only vested with the authority to dismiss a claim
based on an indisputably meritless legal theory, but are also
afforded the unusual power to pierce the veil of the factual
allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual
contentions are clearly baseless. Neiztke v.