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Cartwright v. Byrd

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

April 16, 2018

JOHN CARTWRIGHT
v.
SAMMY BYRD, ET AL.

         SECTION P

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY JUDGE

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          KAREN L. HAYES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff John Cartwright, an inmate at David Wade Correctional Center (“DWCC”) proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed the instant Complaint on October 11, 2017, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff names Sammy Byrd, Larry Cox, Judge Crigler, Parish of Madison, Tim Winstead, Kevin Johnson, and “Sheriffs Dept. Madison Parish” 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.

         Background

         Plaintiff alleges that he was falsely arrested three times because he spoke with the Justice Department about Defendant Judge Crigler buying votes. As to the first incident, he was also arrested in retaliation for writing “a letter about a New Orleans heroin ring being run out of the Madison Detention Center.” Plaintiff does not detail the second false arrest, but he does allege that, some time after the arrest, Defendant Cox refused Plaintiff medical care for his eyes. As to the third arrest, Plaintiff alleges that certain defendants arrested him to prevent him from qualifying for sheriff and writing investigative letters to the press. The third arrest was also in retaliation for Plaintiff reporting Defendant Byrd for stealing diamond rings from the District Attorney's office.

         Plaintiff alleges that, while incarcerated, “they” forced him to take a “crazy test.” He alleges that Defendant Judge Crigler, as well as the warden at DWCC, is “trying to get [him] certified as crazy . . . .” Plaintiff also recites a litany of improprieties and errors relating to his conviction. For instance, he faults Defendant Johnson (ostensibly, Plaintiff's defense attorney) and Defendant Judge Crigler (ostensibly, the judge who presided over Plaintiff's criminal trial) for depriving him of his chosen attorney, failing to subpoena witnesses, preventing him from testifying, conducting a partial trial, failing to move to recuse, failing to move for a change of venue, and making improper comments to the jury. He claims that he was wrongfully convicted and that this lawsuit will prove his innocence.

         Plaintiff alleges further that he fears for his safety at DWCC because he is a former police officer. He claims he was attacked once before at DWCC. He alleges that the warden denied his request for protective custody. Because he fears another attack, he seeks a transfer to the Ouachita Detention Center.

         Finally, Plaintiff alleges that certain officials at DWCC stole his dictionary, which contained important contact information.

         Along with a transfer, Plaintiff seeks $1, 000, 000.00 in damages.

         Law and Analysis

         1. Preliminary 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, 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 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.

         2. Malicious and Frivolous Suit Plaintiff's civil action is subject to dismissal as malicious and frivolous. “IFP complaints may be dismissed as frivolous pursuant to § 1915(d) when they seek to relitigate claims which allege substantially the same facts arising from a common series of events which have already been unsuccessfully litigated by the IFP plaintiff.” Wilson v. Lynaugh, 878 F.2d 846, 850 (5th Cir. 1989). “[I]t is malicious for a pauper to file a lawsuit that duplicates allegations of another pending federal lawsuit by the same plaintiff.” Pittman v. Moore, ...


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