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.

DeMattie v. Ashley

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

May 16, 2018

JAMES DeMATTIE, Plaintiff
v.
PAT ASHLEY, ET AL. Defendants

          DEE D. DRELL JUDGE

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JOSEPH H.L. PEREZ-MONTES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before 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, ” “RPDCIII”).

         Because DeMattie's complaint does not allege the violation of a constitutional right, it should be denied and dismissed, with prejudice.

         I. Background

         DeMattie 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).

         DeMattie seeks monetary damages or the return of his property, as well as punitive damages.

         II. Law and Analysis

         A. DeMattie's complaint is subject to screening under §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.

         DeMattie 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.

         A 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).

         B. DeMattie cannot state a constitutional claim for his lost property.

         Section 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.

         The Due 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 ...


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.