United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
H.L. Perez-Montes United States Magistrate Judge
the Court is the civil rights complaint (42 U.S.C. §
1983) of pro se Plaintiff D'Angelo Leonard
(“Leonard”). Leonard was granted leave to proceed
in forma pauperis. (Doc. 8). Leonard is a detainee
at the Concordia Parish Jail in Vidalia, Louisiana. Leonard
complains that he was injured while being transported in a
vehicle operated by the Concordia Parish Sheriff's Office
(“CPSO”). (Doc. 1, p. 3).
Leonard has not alleged the violation of a constitutional
right, his § 1983 complaint should be dismissed.
alleges that, while riding in a CPSO vehicle, the vehicle
struck an object that fell off of another vehicle. (Doc. 1,
p. 3). The officer driving the CPSO vehicle swerved into the
median after hitting the object, and the vehicle came to an
abrupt stop. (Doc. 1, p. 3). The officer and other driver
attempted to move the item from the road and debris from
under the officer's vehicle. (Doc. 1, p. 3). Leonard
alleges that, during the accident, he was slammed into the
vehicle's cage, which caused neck and back injuries.
(Doc. 1, p. 4).
Law and Analysis
Leonard's complaint is subject to screening under
§§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.
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, Leonard'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, Leonard'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.
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).
Leonard does not state a claim under §
state a § 1983 claim, a prisoner must allege the
violation of a constitutional right. Mere negligence is not a
basis for liability under § 1983. See Hernandez
ex rel. Hernandez v. Texas Dept. of Protective and
Regulatory Services, 380 F.3d 872, 882-83 (5th Cir.
2004); Conner v. Travis County, 209 F.3d 794, 796
(5th Cir. 2000). Leonard does not identify the violation of
any of his constitutional rights by any named Defendant.
extent Leonard claims Defendants subjected him to cruel and
unusual punishment or unconstitutional conditions, his claim
fails. First, there is an objective requirement that the
condition must be “so serious as to deprive prisoners
of the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities,
as when it denies the prisoner some basic human need.”
Harper v. Showers, 174 F.3d 716, 720 (5th Cir. 1999)
(citing Woods v. Edwards, 51 F.3d 577, 581 (5th Cir.
1995)). Second, under a subjective standard, the prison
official must have had a “sufficiently culpable state
of mind-- that is, the official must have been deliberately
indifferent to the prisoner's health or safety.”
Rogers v. Boatright, 709 F.3d 403, 407 (5th Cir.
2013) (citing Palmer v. Johnson, 193 F.3d 346,
351-52 (5th Cir. 2008); Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S.
825, 837 (1994). Leonard's allegations do not indicate
that a prison official subjectively knew that Leonard faced a
substantial risk of serious harm, yet disregarded that risk
by failing to take reasonable steps to abate it. See
Adames v. Perez, 331 F.3d 508, 512 (5th Cir. 2003)
(citing Farmer, 511 U.S. at 847).
has alleged negligence, at most, and his § 1983
complaint should therefore be dismissed. To the extent
Leonard sought to present a tort claim ...