United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
H.L. PEREZ-MONTES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is a civil rights (42 U.S.C. §1983) complaint
filed by pro se Plaintiff James A. DeMattie
(“DeMattie”). DeMattie has been granted leave to
proceed in forma papueris. (Doc. 11). DeMattie is
being detained at the Rapides Parish Detention Center III in
Alexandria, Louisiana. DeMattie complains his constitutional
rights were violated by the theft of his personal property at
the Rapides Parish Detention Centers I and III (“RPDCI,
DeMattie's complaint does not allege the violation of a
constitutional right, it should be denied and dismissed, with
alleges that he arrived at RPDCI with two backpacks full of
personal property, including a watch, earrings, two cell
phones, two knives, various tools, personal identification
cards, numerous certificates, clothing, and other personal
items. (Doc. 1, p. 4). When DeMattie was transferred to
RPDCIII, he was only provided with one of the backpacks.
Defendants were unable to locate the other backpack. (Doc. 1,
p. 5). Eventually, another inmate informed DeMattie that he
had “run across” the backpack and had taken some
of DeMattie's property. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Eventually, the
backpack was recovered and returned to DeMattie with several
items missing. (Doc. 1, p. 5-6).
seeks monetary damages or the return of his property, as well
as punitive damages.
Law and Analysis
DeMattie's complaint is subject to screening under
§§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.
is a prisoner who has been allowed to proceed in forma
pauperis. Title 28 U.S.C. § 1915A provides for the
preliminary screening of lawsuits filed by prisoners seeking
redress from an officer or employee of a governmental entity.
See Martin v. Scott, 156 F.3d 578, 579-80 (5th Cir.
1998) (per curiam); Rosborough v. Mgmt. and Training
Corp., 350 F.3d 459, 461 (5th Cir. 2003) (holding that
private prison-management corporations and their employees
are state actors under § 1983). Because DeMattie 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.
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).
DeMattie cannot state a constitutional claim for his lost
1983 proscribes conduct by 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. See 42 U.S.C. §1983.
Thus, an initial inquiry in a lawsuit filed under § 1983
is whether the plaintiff has alleged that his constitutional
rights have been violated. If no constitutional violation has
been alleged, there is no cognizable claim under § 1983.
Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment provides
“nor shall any State deprive any person of life,
liberty, or property, without due process of law.” U.S.
Const. amend XIV. However, the jurisprudence makes it clear
that a prisoner's claim ...