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Hadley v. River Bend Detention Center

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

May 22, 2018

TYRONE W. HADLEY, JR.
v.
RIVER BEND DETENTION CENTER, ET AL.

         SECTION P

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY JUDGE.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          KAREN L. HAYES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Tyrone W. Hadley, Jr., a detainee at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed the instant Complaint on March 2, 2018, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He names the following Defendants: River Bend Detention Center, Warden Johnny Hedgemond, Robert Russell, Captain Poche, Terence Dismuke, and Lieutenant Cry.[1] For the following reasons, it is recommended that Plaintiff's Complaint be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

         Background

         Plaintiff alleges that, on February 2, 2018, at River Bend Detention Center, officials said that he and other inmates would receive a mandatory haircut if their hair was over a certain length. Plaintiff alleges that “it was up to the prison guards' discretion” to choose inmates for haircuts, but he later alleges that he was informed that haircuts were “policy.” Plaintiff refused to cut his hair because of his religion. However, after officials threatened him with “physical force” if he did not comply, Plaintiff submitted and an inmate cut his hair.

         Plaintiff claims that the clippers the inmate used damaged his roots and that his hair is now “growing in spots.” He seeks punitive damages and $850, 000.00 for mental anguish and emotional distress.

         Law and Analysis

         1. Preliminary Screening

         Plaintiff is a detainee who has been permitted to proceed in forma pauperis. As a detainee 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.[2] 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.

         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. Courts are also afforded the unusual power to pierce the veil of the factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly baseless. Id.

         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); accord Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Likewise, a complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it appears that no relief could be granted under any set of facts that could be proven consistent with the allegations of the complaint. Of course, in making this determination, the court must assume that all of the plaintiff's factual allegations are true. Bradley v. Puckett, 157 F.3d 1022, 1025 (5th Cir. 1998).

         A civil rights plaintiff must support his claims with specific facts demonstrating a constitutional deprivation and may not simply rely on conclusory allegations. Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 662; Schultea v. Wood, 47 F.3d 1427, 1433 (5th Cir. 1995). Nevertheless, a district court is bound by the allegations in a plaintiff's complaint and is “not free to speculate that the plaintiff ‘might' be able to state a claim if given yet another opportunity to add more facts to the complaint.” Macias v. Raul A. (Unknown) Badge No. 153, 23 F.3d 94, 97 (5th Cir. 1994).

         A hearing need not be conducted for every pro se complaint. Wilson v. Barrientos, 926 F.2d 480, 483 n.4 (5th Cir. 1991). A district court may dismiss a prisoner's civil rights complaint as frivolous based upon the complaint and ...


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