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Cartwright v. Goodwin

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

March 28, 2018


         SECTION P




         Before the court is a civil rights complaint filed in forma pauperis by pro se plaintiff John Cartwright (“Cartwright”). Cartwright is an inmate in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, and he is currently incarcerated at David Wade Correctional Center (“DWCC”) in Homer, Louisiana. Plaintiff filed the instant suit on December 27, 2017. On January 29, 2018, he was ordered to amend to provide detailed information regarding his claim [Rec. Doc. 9]; he did so on February 5, 2018 [Rec. Doc. 10] and February 7, 2018 [Rec. Doc. 11]. On February 12, 2018, he filed a Motion Requesting Legal Help. [Rec. Doc. 12] He names DWCC Warden Jerry Goodwin, David Wade Correctional Center, Madison Parish Sheriff Larry Cox, Madison Parish Investigator Sammy Byrd, attorney Kevin Johnson, and Judge John D. Crigler as defendants.

         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. For the following reasons it is recommended that the complaint be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE as frivolous and for failing to state a claim for which relief may be granted.

         Statement of the Case

         The only relief sought by Cartwright in this matter is a transfer from DWCC to Ouachita Detention Center (“ODC”) in Monroe, Louisiana. He contends that he has family and friends in Monroe, and that he was told by officials at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center (“EHCC”), his former place of incarceration, that he would be moved to ODC. Id. He claims that he was sent to DWCC instead of ODC because of a lawsuit that he filed based on his arrest, trial, and conviction in Madison Parish. Id. In this regard, he states that DWCC Warden Goodwin was formerly a warden in Madison Parish when he (Cartwright) was in jail in Tallulah, Louisiana, and that Goodwin “has tried to make me take a crazy test . . . . to get me certified as crazy which is why I was sent to Wade instead of Monroe.” Id. at 3, 4. Cartwright also states that Judge Crigler and Warden Goodwin want him “certified as crazy and doped up so I will not be able to speak out about what they illegally did to me.” [Rec. Doc. 8, p. 2.]

         Cartwright further states that he is a former police officer and that he also ran for sheriff. Id. As such, he contends that he fears for his safety at DWCC as the facility is attempting to put him in “a dorm where I will be verbally abused and beaten and possibly killed.” Id. at 5. Cartwright alleges that upon his arrival at DWCC, he asked to be placed in protective custody but was told by the warden that nothing would happen to him. Id. at 6. However, he believes that the warden is incompetent as shortly after Cartwright was sent to DWCC, a woman was raped and murdered there. Id.

         Cartwright also claims that as punishment for not wanting to go into the dorm in question, a dictionary which contained federal law enforcement addresses was taken from him. [Rec. Doc. 1, p. 5');">p. 5] As a result, he contends that he is unable to write to law enforcement contacts. Id. at 6. He further claims that he only has eyesight in one eye and that his glasses were purposely broken. Id. at 5. Additionally, he states that despite his physically disability, his walker was taken as form of punishment. Id. However, he does not name a defendant whom he alleges is responsible for these actions.

         Plaintiff was ordered to amend his suit to provide additional information regarding his claims against each defendant. He did so on February 5, 2018, pursuant to which he contends that he spoke with the U.S. Justice Department about Judge Crigler “buying votes” and, as a result, when he Judge Crigler got “revenge” on him when he was forced to appear before him on three separate occasions. [Rec. Doc. 10, p. 1] He also contends that Investigator Sammy Byrd had him arrested after he sent “info to the State Police where Byrd stole diamond rings.” Id. He alleges that Sheriff Cox started to sit across from him in church to intimidate him because he was going to run for Sheriff. Id. at p. 2. He claims that his court appointed lawyer, Kevin Johnson, did not effectively represent him.

         On February 7, 2018, he filed a letter into the record reiterating his claims against the defendants. [Rec. Doc. 11] And finally, on February 21, 2018, he filed a letter to the Court, which was interpreted as a Motion to Appoint Counsel. [Rec. Doc. 12]

         Law and Analysis

         A. Screening

         Plaintiff is a prisoner who has been permitted to proceed in forma pauperis. As a prisoner seeking redress from an officer or employee of a governmental entity, his complaint is subject to preliminary screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. See Martin v. Scott,156 F.3d 578');">156 F.3d 578, 579-80 (5th Cir.1998) (per curiam). Because he 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 ...

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