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Waldrip v. Johnson

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

February 9, 2018

RONNY LEE WALDRIP BOP # 00775-122
v.
CALVIN JOHNSON

         SECTION P

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          KATHLEEN KAY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the court is a civil rights complaint filed pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 91 S.Ct. 1999 (1971), by pro se plaintiff Ronny Lee Waldrip, who is not proceeding in forma pauperis in this matter. Waldrip is an inmate in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) and is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institute at Oakdale, Louisiana (“FCIO”). Doc. 4.

         I. Background

         Waldrip states that Calvin Johnson, warden of FCIO, has denied his request for Trulincs[1]access. Doc. 4, p. 3. He maintains that “numerous like-situated inmates” have been granted such access. Id. He now brings suit in this court, seeking injunctive relief, compensatory damages, and reimbursement for the filing fee in this case. Id. at 4.

         II. Law & Analysis

         A. Frivolity Review

         Waldrip's claims are subject to screening under the Prison Litigation Reform Act. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under that law, a district court is required to review any civil complaint in which a prisoner seeks relief against a government entity, officer, or employee, regardless of whether he has paid the filing fee, and to dismiss same under § 1915A(b)(1) if the complaint is frivolous. Thompson v. Hayes, 542 Fed. App'x 420, 420-21 (5th Cir. 2013). 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). When determining whether a complaint is frivolous, the court must accept plaintiff's allegations as true. Horton v. Cockrell, 70 F.3d 397, 400 (5th Cir. 1995).

         B. Bivens/42 U.S.C. § 1983

         Federal law provides a cause of action against any person who, under the color of state law, acts to deprive another of any right, privilege, or immunity secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States. 42 U.S.C. § 1983. A Bivens action is the counterpart for those acting under color of federal law of a suit brought under § 1983. E.g., Abate v. Southern Pacific Transp. Co., 993 F.2d 107, 110 n. 14 (5th Cir. 1993); see also Dean v. Gladney, 621 F.2d 1331, 1336 (5th Cir. 1980) (“The effect of Bivens was, in essence, to create a remedy for federal officers, acting under color of federal law, that was analogous to the section 1983 action against state officials.”) In order to hold the defendant 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 under color of federal law; that is, that the defendant was a government actor. See West v. Atkins, 108 S.Ct. 2250, 2254-55 (1988).

         C. Rule 8 Considerations

         Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a pleading to contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Under Rule 8, the complaint must allege “sufficient facts from which the court can determine the existence of subject matter jurisdiction and from which the defendants can fairly appreciate the claim made against them.” Bynum v. Terrebonne Parish Consol. Gov't, 2011 WL 6654985, at *3 (E.D. La. Nov. 8, 2011) (citations omitted).

         D. Application

         1. ...


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