United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
DENNIS D. THOMAS, Plaintiff
JAMES LEBLANC, ET AL., Defendant
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
H.L. Perez-Montes United States Magistrate Judge
the Court is a civil rights complaint (42 U.S.C. § 1983)
filed by pro se Plaintiff Dennis D. Thomas (#533237)
(“Thomas”). Thomas was granted leave to proceed
in forma pauperis. (Doc. 5). Thomas is an inmate in
the custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections
(“DOC”), incarcerated at the David Wade
Correctional Center (“DWCC”) in Homer, Louisiana.
Thomas complains that Defendants failed to protect him from
harm inflicted by other inmates at Winn Correctional Center
Thomas cannot show that he is entitled to statutory tolling,
his complaint should be dismissed as untimely.
was attacked by another prisoner at WCC on April 8, 2013.
(Doc. 1, p. 16). Thomas was pushed three times by the other
inmate. After the third time, Thomas “defended himself
by striking the prisoner upon the chin, ” causing the
attacker “to fall in to a dazed stupor.” (Doc. 1,
pp. 16-17). When he awoke, the attacker charged at Thomas,
but then retreated to the end of the tier. (Doc. 1, p. 17).
Thomas followed the attacker “imploring him to make
peace.” (Doc. 1, p. 17). The attacker “retrieved
an ankle-wrap which he then used to cover the knuckles of his
right hand.” (Doc. 13, p. 3). The attacker and Thomas
“squared off.” (Doc. 1, p. 17). Another inmate
then attacked Thomas from behind. (Doc. 1, p. 18).
walked to the infirmary, where he noticed three puncture
wounds on his head. (Doc. 1, p. 19). Nurse Warren cleaned
Thomas's wounds. (Doc. 1, p. 19).
met with Shift Supervisor Ward, who informed Thomas that the
surveillance footage was of poor quality. (Doc. 1 p. 20).
Thomas's request to review the footage himself was
denied. (Doc. 1, p. 20).
was escorted to disciplinary segregation and charged with a
disciplinary violation. (Doc. 1, p. 21). Thomas was convicted
and sentenced to ten days of segregation. (Doc. 1, p. 22).
submitted an administrative grievance on April 15, 2013,
arguing that he should have been allowed to view the
surveillance footage to aid in defending against his
disciplinary charge. The response to Thomas's grievance
was issued over three years later, on December 8, 2016, after
a change in WCC's prison management company. (Doc. 1-2,
p. 1). The grievance was denied by the DOC Secretary on
January 30, 2017.
Law and Analysis
Thomas'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
Thomas 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.