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Dorsey v. McCain

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

June 18, 2018

MICHAEL DORSEY #129046, Plaintiff
v.
SANDY MCCAIN, 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 complaint (42 U.S.C. § 1983) filed by pro se Plaintiff Michael Dorsey (#129046) (“Dorsey”). Dorsey was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 12). Dorsey is an inmate in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections (“DOC”), incarcerated at the Raymond Laborde Correctional Center (“RLCC”) in Cottonport, Louisiana.

         Dorsey fails to state a constitutional claim for which relief can be granted, so his federal claims should be dismissed with prejudice. Dorsey's claims under state law should be dismissed without prejudice.

         I. Background

         In his original complaint, Dorsey alleges that, in November 2016, he received notice that a disciplinary conviction had been remanded on appeal. (Doc. 1, p. 2). Dorsey alleges that, on December 7, 2016, the disciplinary charge was dropped. (Doc. 1, p. 2). Dorsey was not released from the maximum custody cell. (Doc. 1, p. 2).

         On December 25, 2016, Dorsey was notified by a family member that his brother, also an RLCC inmate, had died of “unknown causes.” (Doc. 1, p. 2). Because Dorsey was still classified as a maximum custody prisoner, he was not allowed to attend his brother's funeral. (Doc. 1, p. 2).

         In his original complaint, Dorsey maintains that he should have been released from maximum custody to the general population on December 7, 2016, when the disciplinary charges were dropped. Dorsey claims Defendants did not release him as retaliation. (Doc. 9, p. 6). Additionally, Dorsey claims Defendant McCain failed to act or intervene “to correct the obvious wrongs done” after being placed on notice through the grievance process. (Doc. 9, p. 7).

         Dorsey also claims Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his brother's medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment, which resulted in the death of Dorsey's brother. (Doc. 9, pp. 6-7).

         Finally, Dorsey alleges negligence under Louisiana law. (Doc. 9, p. 7).

         In his amended complaint (Doc. 16), Dorsey complains about a second disciplinary conviction on December 27, 2017, for which Dorsey was sanctioned with 10 days disciplinary segregation and four weeks' loss of phone privileges. (Doc. 16-1, p. 1). Dorsey complains the disciplinary conviction is invalid, and he is innocent of the charges. (Doc. 16).

         II. Law and Analysis A. Dorsey's complaint is subject to screening under §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.

         Dorsey 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 Dorsey 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 ...


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