Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Rafiq v. United States

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division

April 30, 2018

SHABBAR RAFIQ REG. # 54757177
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

         SECTION P

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          KATHLEEN KAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the court is a civil rights complaint [doc. 5] filed pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 91 S.Ct. 1999 (1971), by Shabbar Rafiq, who is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this matter. Rafiq is an inmate in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) and is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institute at Oakdale, Louisiana (“FCIO”).

         I.

         Background

         In his complaint, Rafiq alleges that his First Amendment rights are being violated at FCIO. Doc. 5. Namely, he claims (1) that he and other Muslim inmates have less frequent access to clergy and religious classes, (2) that the staff did not accommodate Muslim inmates with a pre-fast meal during Ramadan but provided a “premium meal” for Christian inmates on their religious feast day, (3) that Muslim inmates are not allowed to pray in congregation, and (4) that the staff decorated the facility with “religious artifacts” at Christmas, endorsing Christianity, but does not decorate for other faiths. Id. at 5. He also complains of conditions of confinement, alleging that the facilities are unsanitary, the food is inedible, and inmates are treated in an unprofessional manner and subject to verbal abuse. Id. at 6. Finally, he alleges that his access to the law library is curtailed. Id. He seeks a declaratory judgment and nominal damages in relief, as well as whatever relief the court deems just and proper. Id. at 4.

         II.

         Law & Analysis

         A. Frivolity Review

         Rafiq has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this matter. Accordingly, his complaint is subject to screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), which provides for sua sponte dismissal of the complaint or any portion thereof if the court determines that it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii).

         A complaint is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact. Gonzalez v. Wyatt, 157 F.3d 1016, 1019 (5th Cir. 1998). A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if it is clear the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of his claim that would entitle him to relief. Doe v. Dallas Indep. Sch. Dist., 153 F.3d 211, 215 (5th Cir. 1998). When determining whether a complaint is frivolous or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, the court must accept the plaintiff's allegations as true. Horton v. Cockrell, 70 F.3d 397, 400 (5th Cir. 1995) (frivolity); Bradley v. Puckett, 157 F.3d at 1025 (failure to state a claim).

         B. Section 1983/Bivens

         Federal law provides a cause of action against any person who, under the color of state law, acts to deprive another person of any right, privilege, or immunity secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States. 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Accordingly, in order to state a claim under this statute, a plaintiff must allege facts to show (1) that a constitutional right has been violated and (2) that the conduct complained of was committed by a person acting under color of state law; that is, that the defendant was a state actor. West v. Atkins, 108 S.Ct. 2250, 2254-55 (1988). A Bivens action is the counterpart for those acting under color of federal law of a suit brought under § 1983. E.g., Abate v. Southern Pacific Transp. Co., 993 F.2d 107, 110 n. 14 (5th Cir. 1993); see also Dean v. Gladney, 621 F.2d 1331, 1336 (5th Cir. 1980) (“The effect of Bivens was, in essence, to create a remedy for federal officers, acting under color of federal law, that was analogous to the section 1983 action against state officials.”)

         C. Theories ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.