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Percle v. Purdue

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

January 17, 2018

CHEYENNE LUKE PERCLE, JR. DOC # 495390
v.
JAY PURDUE, ET AL.

         SECTION P

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          KATHLEEN KAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the court is the amended civil rights complaint [doc. 37] filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by plaintiff Cheyenne Luke Percle, Jr., who is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this matter. Percle is an inmate in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections and is currently incarcerated at Caldwell Correctional Center in Grayson, Louisiana. However, the events complained of here relate to his arrest in DeRidder, Louisiana.

         I.

         Background

         This matter arises from Percle's allegation that he was beaten up by DeRidder police officer Jay Purdue following his arrest, and that Officer Dwight Boone failed to intervene to protect him.[1]Doc. 1, att. 2, pp. 1-2; doc. 37, p. 2. Finding Percle's claims to be deficient in several respects, we ordered him to amend same in order that this court might determine whether his complaint should survive our initial review. Doc. 36. Percle has complied, and in the process also added DeRidder Chief of Police John Gott and the City of DeRidder as defendants. Relevant to this amend order, Percle now seeks to hold both Gott, personally and officially, and the City of DeRidder liable for the constitutional violations that he claims resulted from the alleged use of excessive force by Officer Purdue. See doc. 37, pp. 1-2. He seeks compensatory and punitive damages from all defendants in this matter.[2] Id. at 4.

         We have determined that the amended claims against Purdue and Boone are sufficiently pleaded to survive this court's initial review, and ordered service of process as to these defendants. However, the claims against Gott and the City of DeRidder are deficient in a number of aspects. Accordingly, we now review same under the screening standards described in our previous amend order.

         II.

         Law & Analysis

         A. Frivolity Review

         Percle 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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