United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
H.L. Perez-Montes United States Magistrate Judge
the Court is the civil rights complaint (42 U.S.C. §
1983) of pro se Plaintiff Johnson Bernard
(“Bernard”) (#401767). Bernard is an inmate in
the custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections,
housed at the Bossier Parish Reentry Facility in Plain
Dealing, Louisiana. Bernard alleges that his constitutional
rights were violated when he was removed from his work
release position. Bernard names as Defendants Connie Baker of
Roy O. Martin Plywood Company, Justin Aymond and Merry Davis
of the Natchitoches Transitional Work Program
(“NTWP”), and Colonel Tolliver and Jesse Jimerson
of the David Wade Correctional Center.
complaint should be dismissed as frivolous and failing to
state a claim for which relief can be granted because he is
not entitled to work release, cannot state a defamation
claim, cannot recover for stolen funds, and is barred by
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994).
alleges that he was written up and fired by Defendant Baker,
the head of human resources at Roy O. Martin Plywood. (Doc.
1, p. 5). Bernard alleges that Defendant Baker and other
employees of Roy O. Martin Plywood made fraudulent claims
that Bernard was pretending to be sick to avoid work. (Doc.
1, p. 5). Defendant Baker informed Defendant Aymond, the
assistant director of the NTWP, that Bernard was pretending
to be sick because he was not happy with his assignment.
Bernard alleges that he really was sick on the date in
question. Nonetheless, Bernard was written up, fired from his
job, and placed in the general population at the Natchitoches
Parish Detention Center. (Doc. 1, p. 6).
claims that Defendant Merry Davis, assistant director at
NTWP, stole money from his inmate account. (Doc. 1, pp. 6-7).
alleges that he was convicted of the disciplinary charge and
sanctioned with the loss of 90 days of good time credits, as
well as loss of eight weeks of commissary privileges. (Doc.
1, p. 7). Bernard alleges he was denied due process with
respect to the disciplinary proceedings. (Doc. 1, p. 8).
Law and Analysis
Bernard's complaint is subject to screening under
§§ 1915(e)(2)(b) and 1915A.
is a prisoner who has been permitted to proceed in forma
pauperis. (Doc. 11). As a prisoner seeking redress from
an officer or employee of a governmental entity,
Bernard's complaint is subject to preliminary screening
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. See Martin v.
Scott, 156 F.3d 578, 579-80 (5th Cir. 1998) (per
curiam). Because he is proceeding in forma pauperis,
Bernard's 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.
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).
Bernard's complaint is barred by Heck v. Humphrey and
Edwards v. Balisok.
seeks monetary damages for an allegedly unlawful disciplinary
conviction. In order to recover damages for an allegedly
unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment, or for other
harm caused by actions whose unlawfulness would render a
conviction or sentence invalid, a § 1983 plaintiff must
prove that the conviction or sentence has been reversed on
direct appeal, expunged by executive order, declared invalid
by a state tribunal authorized to make such a determination,
or called into question by a federal court's issuance of
a writ of habeas corpus. See Heck v. Humphrey, 512
U.S. at 486-87; E ...