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Brister v. Robinson

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

January 17, 2018

RAY D. BRISTER, DOC # 383050
v.
ALDON ROBINSON, ET AL.

SECTION P

          MEMORANDUM ORDER.

          KATHLEEN KAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the court is a civil rights complaint [doc. 7] filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by plaintiff Ray D. Brister, who is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this matter. Brister is a pretrial detainee and is currently incarcerated at Concordia Parish Correctional Facility (“CPCF”) in Ferriday, Louisiana. See doc. 7, p. 2. However, his complaint relates to events that occurred while he was making an appearance at the Jefferson Davis Parish Courthouse in Jennings, Louisiana. Docs. 1, 7.

         I.

         Background

         Brister states that, while being held in a courtroom in Jefferson Davis Parish on February 10, 2017, with other inmates, he got up to throw away some trash. Doc. 7, p. 3. On returning to his seat, he claims, he tripped over his leg shackles, pushed off of another inmate to break his fall, then spun around and hit his back on a bench before falling to the floor. Id. At the direction of Warden Locke, Officer Aldo Robinson came to check him out and did not believe Brister's claims that he was in too much pain to get up from the floor. Id. at 5. Robinson, Brister stated, then jerked him off the floor, “causing me to scream and holler even more than I already was.” Id. When the EMTs arrived, Brister claims that they put a neck brace on him and said that he should not have been moved without one. Id. He also asserts that they told him his blood pressure was high, and that they had placed him on a gurney to take him to the hospital but that Robinson told the EMTs that the parish was going to refuse medical attention because “he felt like nothing was wrong with me and that I was only trying to get out of jail free [because] I was in jail for [a] murder charge.”[1]Id. He alleges that Robinson called Locke to the scene and removed his neck brace, and that Robinson and Locke pulled him off the gurney and told him he would have to get checked out when he returned to CPCF. Id. at 5-6. Brister claims that these actions caused more pain to his lower back and legs. Id.

         Brister alleges that he continues to experience pain and impairment, even though the doctor at CPCF examined him and stated that he was just bruised. Id. Accordingly, he asks for monetary damages and for the Jefferson Davis Sheriff's Department to be “penalized.” Id. at 4.

         II.

         Law & Analysis

         A. Frivolity Review

         Brister 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 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. Thus the initial question is whether the plaintiff has alleged that his constitutional rights have been violated. If no constitutional violation has been alleged, there is no cognizable claim that would entitle plaintiff to relief. 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 ...


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