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Johnson v. Leblanc

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division

January 2, 2018

JAMES ANTHONY JOHNSON DOC # 125794
v.
JAMES M. LEBLANC

         SECTION P

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          KATHLEEN KAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the court is a civil rights complaint [doc. 4] filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by James Anthony Johnson. Johnson is an inmate in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (“LADPSC”) and is currently incarcerated at the Calcasieu Correctional Center in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

         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 this court. For the reasons stated below, we determine that the matter fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted. Accordingly, IT IS RECOMMENDED that the suit be DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE to Johnson pursuing his claims through a properly filed petition for writ of habeas corpus.

         I.

         Background

         Johnson brings this suit to challenge the manner in which the LADPSC is calculating his sentence. Doc. 4. He alleges that the LADPSC failed to properly compute his good time credits and reduce his sentence, took his incentive wages without awarding him good time, and told him he would be forced onto parole or parole-like conditions while also being required to pay the associated fees. Id. at 3-4. He alleges that these conditions would also add more time to his sentence. Id. In essence, Johnson appears to complain that he is only being offered parole rather than diminution of sentence and/or immediate release from prison. Accordingly, he alleges that he has been held for six years over his release date and now seeks a full pardon as well as monetary relief. Id. at 5.

         II.

         Law & Analysis

         A. Frivolity Review

         Johnson has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this matter. Accordingly, his complaint is subject to screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), which provides for sua sponte dismissal of the complaint or any portion thereof if the court determines that it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii).

         A complaint is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact. Gonzalez v. Wyatt, 157 F.3d 1016, 1019 (5th Cir. 1998). A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if it is clear the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of his claim that would entitle him to relief. Doe v. Dallas Indep. Sch. Dist., 153 F.3d 211, 215 (5th Cir. 1998). When determining whether a complaint is frivolous or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, the court must accept the plaintiff's allegations as true. Horton v. Cockrell, 70 F.3d 397, 400 (5th Cir. 1995) (frivolity); Bradley v. Puckett, 157 F.3d at 1025 (failure to state a claim).

         B. Section 1983

         Federal law provides a cause of action against any person who, under the color of law, acts to deprive another person of any right, privilege, or immunity secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States. 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In order to hold the defendants liable, a plaintiff must allege facts to show (1) that a constitutional right has been violated and (2) that the conduct complained of was committed by a person acting ...


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