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Riggs v. Jordan

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division

February 21, 2018

CLAY LANDIS RIGGS
v.
CRAWFORD JORDAN, ET AL.

         SECTION P

          JUDGE, ROBERT G. JAMES

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          KAREN L. HAYES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the court is the civil rights complaint (42 U.S.C. §1983) of pro se plaintiff Clay Landis Riggs, filed in forma pauperis on March 28, 2017. Riggs is a pre-trial detainee at the Jackson Parish Correctional Center, Jonesboro, Louisiana. Plaintiff names the following as his defendants: (1) Crawford Jordan; (2) Winn Parish Sheriffs Department; (3) Jackson Parish Correctional Center; (4) Herman Casstete; (5) Keith Gates[1]; (6) State of Louisiana; (7) 8th Judicial District Court; (8) Judge 8th Judicial District Court; (9) Timmy Ducote; (10) Robert Bannon; (11) Jeremy Underwood; (12) Judge Derr; (13) Steven D. Crews;(14) R. Christopher Nevils; (15) Lt. Kelley; (16) Sgt. Williams; and (17) Capt. Stewart.

         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 the court.

         Statement of the Case

         On May 12, 2017, Plaintiff's complaint was properly filed. [Rec. Doc. 6] In this initial complaint, plaintiff asserts that while housed at the Jonesboro Correctional Center, he requested indigent stamps and envelopes but was told inmates must wait 90 days before receiving indigent mail supply. He also alleges that despite requesting legal material, he was told that pretrial inmates cannot receive any legal assistance or legal material at JPCC.

         He further claims that there are jurisdictional issues related to the incarceration of his natural body, as there has been no answering of his Affidavit of Denial of Corporate Existence filed in the 8th Judicial District Clerk of Court, nor could a sworn statement to proceed under common law jurisdiction be produced by the State's Attorney, Judge, Sheriff's Department or United States Forestry Department.

         Plaintiff contends that JPCC inmate banking refused to provide account information necessary to proceed in forma pauperis in this court.

         He alleges that Sheriff Crawford Jordan has stolen personal property from plaintiff, including a 1998 F250 4x4, a 2013 Harley Davidson motorcycle and a 1985 3-wheeler.

         Moreover he argues that he is currently being subjected to “wrongful incarceration by fraud.” Plaintiff prays for compensatory damages, the return of his personal property and a restraining order to prevent retaliation.

         On May 24, 2017, plaintiff filed his first Supplemental Complaint [Rec. Doc. 12], in which he makes allegations that Winn Parish attorneys Justin Keith Gates and Herman Casette were ineffective in their representation of plaintiff. He also names Steven D. Crews and R. Christopher Nevils, members of the Louisiana State Bar, as defendants, but provides no details regarding his claims against them. He again reiterates that he is a “living breathing free man of flesh and blood and should be able to live free of corporate harassment.” Id. at p. 4.

         On September 8, 2017, the undersigned conducted an initial review of this matter and instructed plaintiff to amend his complaint within 30 days to provide more detailed information regarding his claims and to cure deficiencies outlined therein. [Rec. Doc. 20]

         On September 20, 2017, plaintiff filed an supplemental complaint. [Rec. Doc. 21] However, he failed to address the issues outlined in this Court's September 8, 2017 Order. Rather, he reiterates arguments related to the jurisdiction of the state court in his criminal matter.

         On October 6, 2017, plaintiff filed a final supplemental complaint, pursuant to which he asserts that he sustained blunt trauma to his eyes due to retaliation for filing the instant complaint. [Rec. Doc. 22] Plaintiff alleges that on September 15, 2017, Lt. Kelly, Sgt. Williams and Capt. Stewart entered L Dorm at JPCC after he requested to speak with Warden Ducote. Plaintiff asserts that he was standing in his bunk area with bond hands raised above his head “in a non threatening manner, ” when he was approached by the prison officials and shot in the eyes with a G9 Mace Gun, “paint ball gun, ” by Capt. Stewart. Id. at p. 2 He received medical treatment, but alleges that his eyes have still not healed and he suffers from pain and blurriness. He seeks a restraining order to prevent any further retaliation. He also requests that all parties involved submit their affidavit answering his affidavit of denial of corporate existence “using their Christian or family name for signature with proof of claims against my natural body that provides the bases for the use of force.”

         Law and Analysis 1. Initial Review

         When a prisoner sues an officer or employee of a governmental entity pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983, the court is obliged to evaluate the complaint and dismiss it without service of process, if it is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.1915A; 28 U.S.C.1915(e)(2). Ali v. Higgs, 892 F.2d 438, 440 (5th Cir.1990).

         A claim is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis in law or in fact. Booker v. Koonce, 2 F.3d 114, 115 (5th Cir.1993); see, Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 112 S.Ct. 1728, 1733, 118 L.Ed.2d 340 (1992). A civil rights complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it appears that no relief could be granted under any set of facts that could be proven consistent with the allegations of the complaint. Of course, in making this determination, the court must assume that all of the plaintiff's factual allegations are true. Bradley v. Puckett, 157 F.3d 1022, 1025 (5th Cir.1998).

         A hearing need not be conducted for every pro se complaint. Wilson v. Barrientos, 926 F.2d 480, 483 n. 4 (5th Cir.1991). A district court may dismiss a prisoner's civil rights complaint as frivolous based upon the complaint and exhibits alone. Green v. McKaskle, 788 F.2d 1116, 1120 (5th Cir.1986). District courts must construe in forma pauperis complaints liberally, but, they are given broad discretion in determining when such complaints are frivolous. Macias v. Raul A. (Unknown) Badge No. 153, 23 F.3d 94, 97 (5th Cir.1994).

         A civil rights plaintiff must support his claims with specific facts demonstrating a constitutional deprivation and may not simply rely on conclusory allegations. Schultea v. Wood, 47 F.3d 1427, 1433 (5th Cir.1995). Nevertheless, a district court is bound by the allegations in a plaintiff's complaint and is “not free to speculate that the plaintiff ‘might' be able to state a claim if given yet ...


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