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Ford v. Lasalle Correctional Center

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

February 27, 2018

ROMAN FORD #156841, Plaintiff
v.
LASALLE CORRECTIONAL CENTER, ET AL., Defendants

         SEC. P

          JUDGE DEE D. DRELL

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Joseph H.L. Perez-Montes United States Magistrate Judge

         Before the Court is the civil rights complaint (42 U.S.C. § 1983) of pro se Plaintiff Roman Ford (#156841). Ford was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 21). Ford is an inmate in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections. At the time of filing, Ford was housed at the LaSalle Correctional Center in Olla, Louisiana (“LCC”), where he claims his constitutional rights were violated. Ford names as defendants LCC, Lieutenant Self, Sergeant Pond, and Sergeant Nugent. Because Ford was not deprived of medical care by Defendants and cannot state a negligence claim under § 1983, his complaint should be dismissed.

         I. Background

         Ford alleges that he slipped and fell in grits on the floor of the dining hall at LCC. (Doc. 1, p. 3; Doc. 22, p. 1). Lt. Self, Sgt. Pond, and Sgt. Nugent helped Ford to the medical department. Ford complains that he did not see the doctor until the following month, and he was charged money for the doctor visit and medication. (Doc. 1, p. 3; Doc. 22, p. 1).

         II. Law and Analysis

         A. Ford's complaint is subject to screening under §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.

         Ford is a prisoner who has been allowed to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 13). As a prisoner seeking redress from an officer or employee of a governmental entity, Ford's complaint is subject to preliminary screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. 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 prison management corporations and their employees are state actors under § 1983). Because he is proceeding in forma pauperis, Ford's 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.

         A complaint is frivolous when it “lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A claim lacks an arguable basis in law when it is “based on an indisputably meritless legal theory.” Id. at 327. A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted when it fails to plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009).

         B. Ford fails to state a claim related to medical care.

         Ford complains that, although Defendants assisted him to the medical department after his fall, he was not actually examined by a physician until the following month. Ford complains he was charged for the visit, and was only prescribed blood pressure medication.

         First, Ford does not allege that LCC, Lt. Self, Sgt. Pond, and Sgt. Nugent actually deprived him of medical care. Thus, there are no facts to substantiate Ford's claim that the named defendants violated his constitutional right to receive adequate care.

         Next, Ford complains that he was charged for his medical appointment and for pain medication. (Doc. 1, p. 3). In the medical context, “to state a cognizable [Eighth Amendment] claim, a prisoner must allege acts or omissions sufficiently harmful to evidence deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. It is only such indifference that can offend ‘evolving standards of decency' in violation of the Eighth Amendment.” Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). “'[T]he deliberate indifference standard of Estelle does not guarantee prisoners the right to be entirely free from the cost considerations that figure in the medical-care decisions made by most non-prisoners in our society.'” Morris v. Livingston, 739 F.3d 740, 748 (5th Cir. 2014) (citing Reynolds v. Wagner, 128 F.3d 166, 175 (3rd Cir. 1997) and Farrakhan v. Johnson, 1:08cv438, 2009 WL 1360864, at *5 (E.D. Va. May 13, 2009) (unpublished) (“Inmates are not entitled to free medical care, and an inmate's displeasure at having to pay ...


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