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Davis v. Whyce

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

March 23, 2018

DENNIS RAY DAVIS JR.
v.
ROBERT WYCHE, ET AL.

          ELIZABETH E. FOOTE MAG. JUDGE

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          KAREN L. HAYES UNITED SATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the Court is a civil rights complaint (42 U.S.C. § 1983) filed by pro se Plaintiff Dennis Ray Davis, Jr. (#469947). Plaintiff was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis on October 18, 2017. (Doc. 8). Plaintiff is an inmate in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections, incarcerated at the Caddo Parish Jail. Plaintiff was convicted of DWI, and he has other criminal charges pending. (Docs. 1, 10). Plaintiff complains of false imprisonment and the violation of his constitutional rights by several attorneys.

         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.

         Background

         In his original, deficient complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he is wrongfully imprisoned. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-2). He named as defendants Warden Bobby Wyche, Cheryl Stills, Yolanda Williams, Theresa Ruffin, and Lt. Sharon.[1] (Doc. 1, p. 4).

         In his complaint that was submitted on the proper court-approved form, Plaintiff names numerous public defenders as Defendants, including James Dixon, Pamela Smart, Carlos Prudhomme, and Rickey Swiffts.

         Plaintiff has filed four other civil cases in this Court, three of which are pending review, and one of which was dismissed as frivolous or for failure to state a claim.[2]

         Law and Analysis

         I. Initial Review

         Plaintiff is a prisoner who has been allowed to proceed in forma pauperis. As a prisoner seeking redress from an officer or employee of a governmental entity, Plaintiff'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). Because he is proceeding in forma pauperis, Plaintiff'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).

         II. State Actors

         To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the violation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States. The plaintiff must also show that the alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988) (citations omitted). A plaintiff may satisfy the “under color of state law” requirement of § 1983 by proving that the conduct causing the deprivation is fairly attributable to the state. See Lugar v. Edmondson Oil Co., 457 U.S. 922, 937 (1982). “Fair attribution” requires that: (1) the deprivation is caused by the exercise of a state-created right or privilege, by a state-imposed rule ...


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