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Marshall v. Dept. of Corrections

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

May 30, 2018

JERRELL MARSHALL
v.
DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS, ET AL.

         SECTION P

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          KAREN L. HAYES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Jerrell Marshall is confined at Caldwell Correctional Center and is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis. He filed the instant Complaint on April 26, 2018, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He names the following Defendants: “Dept. of Corrections, ” James M. LeBlanc, Jerry Goodwin, and Kevin Wyles.[1] For the following reasons, it is recommended that Plaintiff's Complaint be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

         Background

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendants are confining him beyond his December 25, 2017, release date. He claims that he was initially arrested and confined on December 26, 2014, and that, on May 1, 2017, a state court judge sentenced him to three years of incarceration with credit for time served. He seeks immediate release.

         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 exhibits alone. Green v. McKaskle, 788 F.2d 1116, 1120 (5th Cir. 1986).

         2. Habeas Corpus Relief

         Although Plaintiff filed this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, he challenges the very fact and duration of his imprisonment. Plaintiff should instead pursue his request for an immediate release from custody through a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241.[3] The Court cautions Plaintiff that he must first exhaust his available state court remedies before seeking habeas corpus relief in this Court. SeePreiser, 411 U.S. at 477 (observing that if “habeas corpus is the exclusive federal remedy . . . a plaintiff cannot seek the intervention of a federal court until he has first sought and been denied relief in the state courts, ...


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