United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
H.L. Perez-Montes, United States Magistrate Judge.
the Court is a civil rights complaint (42 U.S.C. § 1983)
filed by pro se Plaintiff Michael Cooper (#391434)
(“Cooper”). Cooper was granted leave to proceed
in forma pauperis. (Doc. 20). Cooper is an inmate in
the custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections
(“DOC”), incarcerated at the Elayn Hunt
Correctional Center (“EHCC”) in St. Gabriel,
Louisiana. Cooper complains that his constitutional rights
were violated when he was incarcerated at Winn Correctional
Center (“WCC”). Cooper names as defendants
Secretary James LeBlanc and numerous WCC officials. Cooper
seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief.
alleges he made a sick call in June 2016, due to dental pain.
(Doc. 12-1, p. 6). Cooper made another sick call in September
2016, also due to dental pain, and he was placed on a list to
see the dentist. (Doc. 12-2, p. 5). Cooper sought medical
care again for dental pain in October 2016, and also
complained that he was unable to use his CPAP machine because
the cold air caused tooth pain. (Doc. 12-2, p. 6). Cooper was
prescribed an antibiotic and analgesic. (Doc. 12-2, p. 6).
Thereafter, Cooper was treated by a dentist, who extracted a
tooth. However, in December 2016, Cooper complained of pain
in the area where the tooth was pulled. (Doc. 12-2 p. 8).
Cooper was prescribed an analgesic and advised to comply with
his HIV medications. (Doc. 12-2, p. 8).
alleges he filed administrative grievances related to his
dental issues, but Defendant Heyse failed to properly process
his grievances. Cooper also received a disciplinary
conviction for malingering due to submitting “back to
back sick calls.” (Doc. 12-2, p. 27).
Cooper complains that he was administered incorrect
medication by a correctional officer in October 2016. The
medication Cooper received was for an inmate named Michael
Cormier. (Doc. 12-2, p. 20). Cooper's administrative
grievance was rejected as untimely filed. (Doc. 12-2, p. 21).
complains that he was denied the use of his CPAP machine for
10 days while he was in disciplinary segregation at WCC.
According to the response to Cooper's grievance, an
extension cord was needed, and “all attempts were
made” to secure Cooper's CPAP while he was in
segregation. (Doc. 12-2, p. 18).
complains that he was not transferred from WCC to a facility
that offers “good time programs, ” such as EHCC.
(Doc. 12-1, p. 9). Cooper also complains that he was
transferred from WCC to Jackson Parish Correctional Center
(“JPCC”) on October 5, 2017, allegedly in
retaliation for filing sick calls and grievances against the
WCC medical department. (Doc. 12-1, p. 9). Cooper alleges
JPCC also lacked the “good time programs.” (Doc.
12-2, p. 9). Cooper complains that he would be entitled to an
earlier release from custody had he been at EHCC. (Doc. 12-2,
Law and Analysis
Cooper's complaint is subject to screening under
§§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.
is a prisoner who has been allowed to proceed in forma
pauperis. Title 28 U.S.C. § 1915A provides for the
preliminary screening of lawsuits filed by prisoners seeking
redress from an officer or employee of a governmental entity.
See Martin v. Scott, 156 F.3d 578, 579-80
(5th Cir. 1998) (per curiam); Rosborough v. Mgmt. and
Training Corp., 350 F.3d 459, 461 (5th Cir. 2003)
(holding that private prison-management corporations and
their employees are state actors under § 1983). Because
Cooper 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 the Court finds 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.
Cooper cannot show that he was denied adequate medical
complains that he was denied dental care. Prison officials
violate the Eighth Amendment's proscription against cruel
and unusual punishment when they act with “deliberate
indifference” to the serious medical needs of
prisoners. See Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834,
(1994); Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 105 (1976).
Deliberate indifference “is an extremely high standard
to meet.” Gobert v. Caldwell, 463 F.3d 339,
346 (5th Cir. 2006) (citation omitted). An inmate must show
that prison personnel “refused to treat him, ignored
his complaints, intentionally treated him incorrectly, or
engaged in any similar conduct that would clearly evidence a